Former Florida Gators striker and U.S. Women’s National Team captain Abby Wambach played a starring role at the 2015 ESPYS on Wednesday, presenting one of the most prestigious awards of the night and taking home an honor herself.
Wambach began the evening as a presenter, standing on stage to announce Caitlyn Jenner as the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Just moments later, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning United States women’s soccer was announced as winners of “Best Team,” so Wambach took the stage a second time to lead her team and deliver their short acceptance speech.
Now the recipient of two ESPYS – she won “Best Play” in 2011 for her last-minute game-tying header in the 2011 World Cup – Wambach was the only former Gators player to bring home honors on Wednesday.
Florida softball pitcher Lauren Haeger watched as Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who failed to win a title in 2015, brought home “Best Championship Performance.” She was also nominated for “Best Female College Athlete” but fell to California swimmer Missy Franklin, who also bested Haeger for the 2015 Honda Sports Award.
Former Gators golfer Billy Horschel, winner of the 2014 FedEx Cup, was edged by back-to-back major winner Jordan Spieth for “Best Golfer.” Horschel was unable to attend the ESPYS as he is preparing to play in the 2015 British Open.