News9.com Staff and Wire Reports
LOS ANGELES – Former Oklahoma Sooner star and current Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the 2011 Breakthrough Athlete at Wednesday's annual ESPY Awards.
Griffin, the NBA's rookie of the year and slam dunk champion averaged 22.5 points and 12 rebounds per game last season. He also was the first rookie to appear in an NBA All-Star Game since Yao Ming in 2003.
Former OU football player Adrian Peterson won the same breakthrough athlete award in 2008.
Current NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki was awarded two trophies including male athlete of the year and best NBA player as well as the best team honor that went to the Dallas Mavericks.
Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn was named the female athlete of the year, her second straight such honor.
Other notable ESPY winners include:
• BYU's Jimmer Fredette, who led the nation in scoring with 28.5 points a game, won Best Male College Athlete. Fredette was drafted ninth by the Charlotte Bobcats, who then traded his rights to the Sacramento Kings.
• The VCU men's basketball team won Best Upset. VCU defeated heavily favored Kansas 71-61 to reach the Final Four.
• Maya Moore, who helped UConn to two national women's basketball titles, won Best Female College Athlete.
• "The Fighter" won the Best Sports Movie.
• Anthony Robles of Arizona State won the NCAA wrestling championship despite being born with one leg. He was the recipient of the Jimmy V Award and the Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
• Pitcher Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies won Best MLB Player. Halladay also won the ESPY for Best Moment.
• Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson won Best Driver.
• Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury won Best WNBA Player.
• Ten-time world title winner Manny Pacquiao won Best Fighter.
• U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy won Best Male Golfer and Best Record-Breaking Performance.
• Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won Best Male and Best Female Tennis Player, respectively.
• Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan, the all-time leader in scoring and assists leader for Team USA, won Best MLS Player.
• Sprinter Tyson Gay, who holds the U.S. record in the 100 meters (9.69 seconds), won Best Track and Field Athlete.