Before 2021, the ESPY Award for Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports is, by all means, the Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award. It is an annual award that recognizes the accomplishments of a female college athlete.
An ESPY Award is a prize given by the American broadcast television network ABC. They recognize individual and team athletic achievements and other sports-related performances during the calendar year before a given annual ceremony.
There is best female college athlete ESPY awards given out every year. Do you have an interest in who holds these awards? Then this article is for you. Keep reading.
Who selects the ESPY Award winners?
From the start of the show until now, fans were the only ones who could choose the winners of the ESPY Awards.
Since 2004, sportswriters, broadcasters, sports executives, and athletes, all of whom are experts, or “ESPN personalities,” have also been able to vote.
Since then, only online voting by fans chooses winners from a list of candidates. These candidates are mostly chosen by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee.
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What are the Types of ESPY Awards?
- The Arthur Ashe Courage Award
- The Best Female Athlete ESPY Award
- ESPY Award for Best College Athlete
- The Best Male Athlete ESPY Award
- The Best International Athlete ESPY Award
- Best Disability-Related Female Athlete
- The Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award
- The Best Championship Performance ESPY Award
- Best Man with a Disability in Sports
- The Best Coach/Manager ESPY Award
- The Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award
- Best Game ESPY Award
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Where does the ESPY Award Show Hold?
From 1993 to 2001, the ceremony took place every year in either February or March, and ESPN showed it. Between 2002 and 2019, the ceremony was on the Wednesday after the MLB All-Star Game.
This is the only day of the year when none of the major North American professional leagues or college sports programs have games scheduled. The show aired four days later on the Sunday after that, but the results were already public thanks to ESPN.com.
ESPN showed the ceremony live for the first time since 2003 in 2010. In 2015, the ESPY Awards started airing on ABC, which is a sister network to ESPN.
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What is the Location of the ESPY Awards
The first seven ESPYs took place in New York City. In 1993 and 1994, the ceremony happened at Madison Square Garden, and from 1995 to 1999, they got held at Radio City Music Hall.
In 2000, the awards moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they stayed for two years. They are now held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
In 2006, it got announced that the awards would move to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, in 2008. This theater is the West Coast headquarters of ESPN and is right next to the Crypto.com Arena.
Who hosts the ESPY Awards?
Comedians, actors from TV and movies, and athletes have all hosted the events in the past. Samuel L. Jackson, an American movie star, is the only person to have hosted four times (in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2009).
The only other people to host the show more than once are comedian Dennis Miller, actor and singer Jamie Foxx, and talk show host and comedian Seth Meyers.
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15 Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award
#1. Sue Bird
Sue Bird, a basketball player for the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies, was the first person to win the ESPY Award for Best Female College Athlete. She won it at the 2002 awards show.
During her time in college, Bird won two NCAA championships and got eight other awards for her work. She was the first of two female college basketball players to get nominations for and win the ESPY Award for Best Female College Athlete. Suzanne Brigit Bird is an American pro basketball player for the Seattle Storm of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Bird got picked first overall by the Storm in the WNBA draft in 2002. She is popular as one of the best players in WNBA history. As of 2021, Bird is the only player in the WNBA to have won a championship in three different decades. She became New York State Player of the Year, New York Daily News Player of the Year, and a WBCA All-American when she was in high school.
In 2002, as a senior on an unbeaten University of Connecticut team, she won both the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Award as College Player of the Year. She also won the Nancy Lieberman Award three times as the best point guard in the country while leading her team to a 114–4 record. Sue bird is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#2. Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi, who also played for UConn, won the award in 2003. Taurasi won the award again the next year. She is one of three women, all UConn basketball players, who have won the Best Female College Athlete ESPY Award more than once.
Diana Lorena Taurasi is an American pro basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s National Basketball Association. In the 2004 WNBA draft, Phoenix picked her as the first player taken. Taurasi has won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award (2004), and three WNBA championships (2007, 2009, and 2014). She set a record of five Olympic gold medals (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020).
In 2011, fans voted her one of the Top 15 WNBA Players of All Time. Also in 2021, fans chose her as the best player in the league’s history. On June 18, 2017, Taurasi became the player with the most points in the history of the WNBA. Taurasi is one of the best basketball players for women ever. Taurasi is one of 11 women who have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA title, a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup, and a WNBA title. She is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#3. Maya Moore
Maya Moore won three awards in a row between the 2009 and 2011 ceremonies, which is the most any woman has won. Basketball players have won the award 12 times, more than any other sport.
Maya April Moore is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx. She was born on June 11, 1989, and is on a break right now. In 2017, Sports Illustrated named Moore its first Performer of the Year and called her the best winner in the history of women’s basketball.
Moore became the National Gatorade Player of the Year, Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American while she was in high school. She was a forward for the UConn women’s basketball team. They won back-to-back national titles in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, she won the John Wooden Award because she led Connecticut to a national championship without a loss.
Moore was the first woman to sign with Air Jordan as a basketball player. She was the first player picked in the 2011 WNBA Draft. Maya Moor got chosen for three All-WNBA teams and four All-WNBA All-Star teams. Moore has been able to play throughout the year because the seasons of the WNBA and the top leagues in other countries are close to each other. Moore is one of 11 women who have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA title, a gold medal at the FIBA World Cup, and a WNBA title. She is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#4. Missy Franklin
Melissa Franklin Johnson, who was born on May 10, 1995, is an American swimmer who won five gold medals at the Olympics. In the 200-meter backstroke, she used to hold the world record (long course). As a member of the U.S. national swim team, she also held the world record in the 4100-meter medley relay.
Franklin, who was 17 when she first went to the Olympics at the 2012 Summer Games, won five medals, four of which were gold. She won gold in both the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke races for women. Franklin’s success has earned her the World Swimmer of the Year and American Swimmer of the Year awards from Swimming World in 2012, as well as the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.
In international competitions, she has won a total of 28 medals: 17 gold, 6 silver, and 5 bronze. Missy Franklin is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#5. Jocelyn Alo
The last person to win the award was Jocelyn Alo, an Oklahoma softball player. She is also only the second person to win it with the name it has now. Jocelyn Alo is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
On February 14, she hit two home runs and drove in four runs. At the plate, she went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, and four RBIs against North Texas on February 29. Helped the Sooners beat Wichita State on March 4 by going 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
#6. Natalie Coughlin
Natalie Anne Coughlin Hall is an American swimmer who won twelve medals at the Olympics. She was the first woman to swim the 100-meter backstroke (long course) in less than one minute. She did this while she was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, ten days before she turned 20.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she became the first American woman to win six medals in an Olympics history. She was also the first woman to win gold in the 100-meter backstroke at two different Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the 4100-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Due to her success, Coughlin became the American Swimmer of the Year three times and World Swimmer of the Year once. She has won a total of sixty medals in the Olympics, the World Games, the Pan Pacific Championships, and the Pan American Games. She has won twenty-five gold medals, twenty-two silver medals, and thirteen bronze medals. Natalie Coughlin is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#7. Jennie Finch
Jennie Lynn Finch Daigle is an American who used to play softball. She was born on September 3, 1980. From 1999 to 2002, she played softball for the Arizona Wildcats. During that time, she won the 2001 Women’s College World Series and became an All-American in college. Later, she led the U.S. women’s national softball team to a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. There was also a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
She also pitched from 2005 to 2010 for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch. Finch ranks in several categories for both the Wildcats of the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA Division I. She was also named the fifth-best NCAA pitcher of all time, and the Pac-12 chose her as a pitcher for the All-Century Team. Time magazine said that she was the most well-known softball player ever. Jennie Finch is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
#8. Stacey Nuveman
Stacey “Nuvey” Nuveman-Deniz is an American who was born on April 26, 1978. She used to play softball professionally and is now the head coach at San Diego State. Stacey was the catcher for the UCLA Bruins on and off from 1997 to 2002. In 1999, she helped the team win the National Championship. She also won two gold and one silver medal for Team USA at the Olympics.
She holds the Pac-12 career records for batting average and slugging percentage. She also holds the NCAA career records for total bases and intentional walks (81). Nuveman-Deniz is also one of nine NCAA players with a batting average of at least.400, at least 200 RBIs, at least 50 home runs, and a slugging percentage of at least.800. She became the #4 Greatest College Softball Player. Currently, Stacey is one of the best female college athletes and ESPY award holders.
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#9. Jackie Stiles
Jackie Marie Stiles is an American college basketball coach who was born on December 21, 1978. She has worked as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball teams at the University of Oklahoma and Missouri State University. Stiles played shooting guard in college, where she set several scoring records. In 2016, she got inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Jackie Stiles is currently one of the best female college athletes’ ESPY award holders.
#10. Alana Beard
Alana Monique Beard is an American who used to play pro basketball. She was born on May 14, 1982. In college, she played basketball for the Duke Blue Devils. In the 2004 WNBA Draft, the Washington Mystics picked her as the second player overall. She became a free agent in 2012 and signed with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Beard was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018. But she got hurt the next year and only scored a few points for the Sparks. Beard has said that she will leave the WNBA on January 23, 2020. Alana Beard is currently one of the best female college athletes’ ESPY award holders.
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#11. Cat Osterman
Catherine Leigh Osterman was born on April 16, 1983, and she used to play softball in the United States. Osterman was a pitcher for the U.S. women’s softball team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. She also won the silver medal at the 2008 and 2020 Summer Olympics.
She got named an All-American four times in college and six times in the pros. She finished her college career at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. Since 2002, she had been a starting pitcher for the Longhorns. Osterman holds the Big 12 Conference pitching Triple Crown for her career wins, ERA, and strikeouts, as well as her shutouts, no-hitters, WHIP, and perfect games.
She also holds the NCAA Division I record for strikeout ratio (14.34). Osterman got picked first overall in the National Pro Fastpitch league. He is the all-time leader in strikeout ratio (10.90) and no-hitters (6). She is also one of five pitchers in the NCAA who have won 100 games, struck out 1,000 batters, and had an ERA of less than 1.00.
Osterman was also named the third-best softball player in college history and the best pitcher in NCAA history. She is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#12. Kristen Maloney
Kristen Ann Maloney is a retired gymnast from Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, in the United States. She was born on March 10, 1981. At the Olympics in 2000, she won bronze in the team event. Maloney was also the U.S. senior all-around national champion in 1998 and 1999, and she won the gold medal on the balance beam at the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Maloney also played in the NCAA from 2001 to 2005 for the University of California, Los Angeles. She is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
#13. Tara Kirk
Tara Kirk Sell is an American swimmer who specialized in breaststroke and won a silver medal at the Olympics. She was born on July 12, 1982. In the 100-meter breaststroke, she used to hold the world record (short course).
She has won three gold, seven silver, and five bronze medals at the Olympics, the World Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships, and the Summer Universiade, for a total of fifteen medals. Tara Kirk is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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#14. Jessica van der Linden
Jessica van der Linden is a softball player for Florida State. She is one of the most decorated athletes in FSU’s history and is one of the best to ever play the game in college. She is currently one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders.
#15. Seimone Augustus
Seimone Delicia Augustus was born in the United States on April 30, 1984. She used to play professional basketball and is now an assistant coach for the U.S. national team, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and Dynamo Kursk.
She got picked first overall by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Draft in 2006. However, she left to join the Sparks 14 years later. Augustus is one of the most well-known faces in the WNBA. She has been an All-Star eight times, and she became MVP when she led the Lynx to their first of four WNBA titles with the Lynx in 2011. Seimone Augustus is one of the best female college athletes ESPY award holders currently.
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FAQs on Best Female College Athlete Espy Award
Katie Ledecky’s inspiring words after winning the ESPY award for the best female athlete: The American swimmer just came back from the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, where she won four gold medals.
Shohei Ohtani and Katie Ledecky will be named Best Athletes at the 2022 ESPY Awards.
The award started in 1991 and is for female student-athletes who have reached the end of their eligibility. They must have also stood out in their community, in sports, and in the classroom throughout their college careers.
Curry, Stephen, Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe, and Russell Wilson
2016 Usain Bolt
2017 Almaz Ayana and Mutaz Essa Barshim Thiam Nafissatou
2018 Eliud Kipchoge
2019 Caterine Ibargüen and Eliud Kipchoge
2020 Dalilah Muhammad
In 1993, the first ESPYs started. Since the ceremony got moved to a different date before 2002, the awards given out that year were for accomplishments and performances from the previous seventeen and a half months. As with the Grammys (for music), Emmys (for TV), Academy Awards (for movies), and Tonys (for theater), the ESPYs are usually hosted by a modern celebrity. However, the style is lighter, more relaxed, and self-referential than many other award shows. It also usually includes comedic sketches.
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- wikiwand.com– Best female ESPY award
- espn.com– Best female college athlete ESPY award holders
- economictimes.indiatimes.com– Female college athlete ESPY award holders
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