Amidst the slick highlight montages, the host's one liners and awkward presenter banter, the ESPY Awards Show is usually good for at least two poignant moments: the awarding of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance. The 20th edition of the ESPYS was no different, with Pat Summitt and Eric LeGrand inspiring the crowd in Los Angeles and watching at home.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who first met Summitt during his own stint at the University of Tennessee, introduced a tribute video to the iconic women's basketball coach and then remained on the stage to present her with the Arthur Ashe Award.
"Tonight I am deeply touched as all of you heard my story, Summitt told the crowd during her acceptance speech. "I'm going to keep on keeping on. I promise you that."
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Summitt's acceptance remarks begin after tribute video (12:00 mark)
With 8 national championships and more wins on her resume than any other college in NCAA basketball history, Summitt shocked her fans on and off the court in August 2011 when she revealed that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. After coaching the Lady Vols for one final season, Summitt stepped aside in April, taking the role of Head Coach Emeritus.
As the 60-year-old Summitt continues her battle with Alzheimer's she wins the award that honors those whose contributions transcend sports. Ashe was a tennis pioneer who left his greatest imprint on the world through his humanitarian work.
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more