The ESPY Awards honor the best in sports throughout the year, but the 2015 ceremony hit a somber moment when remembering deceased athlete Lauren Hill and sportscaster Stuart Scott.
Hill was on her way to greatness with a collegiate basketball scholarship when she got the news that she had an inoperable brain tumor that left her with a maximum of two years left to live. Instead of giving up on her dream of playing NCAA basketball, Lauren still got to see her shoes step out on the hardwood floor for her first collegiate game. Her courage earned her the ESPY for Best Moment Award, which her parents accepted at the ceremony.
"It’s amazing how powerful just one moment can be. In Lauren’s case, I think she reminded us that we are vulnerable to being dealt a bad hand, but Lauren also showed us through heart, determination, courage, strength and faith that no matter what it is possible to achieve your dreams," says Lauren's mom Lisa Hill.
Hill went on to encourage the audience to live for the moment, which became Lauren's life mantra.
"All we have is now and I encourage you to spend every moment making it as memorable as you can. Nothing would be better to tribute to Lauren and her spirit, a spirit I hope you never ever forget. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and never give up," she says.
Hill's somber speech was compounded by the ESPYS remembering another valued member of the sports community. "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts came on stage to remember ESPN commentator Stuart Scott who passed away in January, also due to cancer.
"A year ago tonight, someone else came up on this stage and reminded us of his own unbreakable spirit. It’s been six months since my friend, our friend, Stuart Scott passed away but his message endures," Roberts says. "Stu told us that cancer was not just about living and fighting but also making sure that others were there to fight for you, especially when you’re tired."
Roberts' speech was followed by the 2015 ESPY In Memoriam, which remembered Hill, Scott and the other members of the sports community that have passed away in the past year.