July 17, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The Tennessee women's basketball program will be well represented at the ESPYs Wednesday night at the Nokia Theatre, as Lady Vol freshman Mercedes Russell and former UT standouts Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker are among the awards candidates.
Hosted by actor Jon Hamm, the 2013 ESPYs will be televised live on ESPN/ESPNHD from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
Russell, a freshman from Springfield, Ore., was a candidate for Gatorade High School Female Athlete of the Year. Although she did not win the award, the candidates for the Gatorade female and male awards will be recognized during the ESPYs and walk the red carpet beforehand. Soccer player Morgan Andrews of Milford, N.H., was named the female recipient of national honors on Tuesday.
A 6-foot-5 post player, Russell was named the Gatorade Female Basketball Player of the Year for the state of Oregon and the Gatorade National Female Basketball Player of the Year earlier this season. She was the sixth Lady Vol to garner national player of the year accolades, joining Kris Durham (1986-87), Lisa Harrison (1988-89), Michelle Marciniak (1990-91), Shyra Ely (2000-01) and Candace Parker (2002-03, 2003-04).
Catchings and Parker, meanwhile, are candidates for Best WNBA Player. Catchings is a WNBA All-Star and USA Basketball gold medalist who plays for the 2012 WNBA champion Indiana Fever, while Parker is a WNBA All-Star and USA Basketball gold medalist who plays for the Los Angeles Sparks. Catchings played at Tennessee from 1997-2001, while Parker was at Rocky Top from 2004-08.
Fans will determine the winners in all ESPY categories (except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and other special awards) by voting online at ESPN.com/espys, on the ESPN Mobile Web app or via Twitter using the hashtag #ESPYSBestTeam and the team name.
The ESPYS honor ESPN's commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a partnership launched with the late Jim Valvano at the inaugural ESPYS in 1993.