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Serena at the 2002 ESPY Awards

Information featured on this page culled from various sources

The stars were out in force on Wednesday July 10, 2002 for the ESPY Awards. The awards honor “excellence in sports performance.” Fresh from her win at Wimbledon, Serena attended the 10th Annual ESPY Awards, which were held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Each year starting this year, the event will take place the night after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The annual ESPY Awards, an industry-wide celebration of achievement in sports, was broadcast live on the cable network ESPN. This year the emcee was actor Samuel L. Jackson. Other celebrities on hand included Tim Allen, Toni Braxton, Brian McKnight, Shannon Elizabeth, Jeri Ryan and Vivica A. Fox.

The ESPY Awards were created by ESPN in 1993. The receipents of the awards are chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of sports executives, journalists and retired athletes who comprise the ESPY Select Nominating Committee. There are 19 Performer-of-the-Year awards given. Nominees are chosen by the committee and the winner is decided by the ESPY Finalist Committee made up of top athletes and ESPN/ABC personnel. The 2002 event featured new awards to be handed out for Best Disabled Athlete, Best Outdoors Sports Athlete and Best Sports Movie. All total 34 awards were presented, including the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which is dedicated to those individuals whose courage and conviction transcend sport.

Along with the athletes getting a chance to hobnob with their favorite actors and singers, they are also given a gift bag. The presenters and nominees for the 10th annual ESPY Awards were each given a bag that included among other things: a Sony Playstation 2-- complete with exclusive releases of 989 sports games, a weekend suite at any Ian Schrager hotel, a Walt Disney DVD collection, a Discover to Go card and Lois Hill jewelry.

This year Serena attended the festivities alone. Serena was at the awards in a dual capacity. She presented the first Best Sports Movie award and also accepted Venus’ female athlete trophy, saying her sister couldn’t attend because of an unspecified prior obligation. “I talked to her on the phone and she said she wanted this award to go to the rest of our family for all the support they provide,” said Serena.

Venus captured two ESPYs, including Best Female Athlete honors over WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie, gold-medal figure skater Sarah Hughes, golfer Annika Sorenstam and tennis star Jennifer Capriati. It was the first time a tennis player had captured the honor since Monica Seles did so in 1993.

Serena wore a lilac Versace dress and shoes which matched nicely with the Harry Winston necklace and earrings, Fred Leighton watch and Alex bracelet.