• Trae Young, Josef Martinez can win an ESPY Wednesday; here are all the nominees

    By: Jonathan Anker

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Atlanta sports fans have, frankly, been a bit spoiled recently.

    After years of underperforming teams and lineups that failed to impress, we are now in something of a golden age with multiple teams in contention and lineups that feature young, electrifying, and talented stars. 

    This week alone, the Braves sent the youngest pair of teammates to the All-Star Game in MLB history, with 21-year-olds Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka – and nobody would have complained if 22-year-olds Ozzie Albies or Austin Riley joined them.

    And as fellow Millennials Calvin Ridley, Deion Jones, and Keanu Neal prepare for Falcons’ training camp, two more ascendant Atlanta athletes are earning major national recognition.

    The Hawks’ Trae Young and Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez have both earned nominations for this year’s ESPYS, which will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Channel 2. 

    Martinez, who won Major League Soccer’s MVP while scoring an MLS record 31 goals for the MLS champion Atlanta United, is up for Best MLS Player. And, if we’re being honest, has made a pretty strong case to win the thing. 

    Young is coming off a dazzling rookie season for the Hawks when he silenced critics of Atlanta’s trade to acquire him for the draft rights to Luka Doncic by putting up 19.1 points-per-game to go with 8.1 assists-per-game. He’s hoping to top it off with an ESPY win for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Not nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete? Luka Doncic.

    Here is a complete list of the sports year's best athletes, teams, and moments which are also nominated for a 2019 ESPY.

    BEST MALE ATHLETE

    Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

    Brooks Koepka, Golf

     

    BEST FEMALE ATHLETE

    Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

    Simone Biles, Gymnast

    Alex Morgan, USWNT

    Mikaela Shiffrin, US Skiing

     

    BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE

    Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

    Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

    Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

    Naomi Osaka – US Open, Australian Open

     

    BEST GAME

    NCAAF – LSU vs. Texas A&M: Aggies win seven-overtime 74-72 thriller in highest scoring game in FBS history

    NFL Week 11 – LA Rams (54) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (51) – Monday Night Football

    NCAAW Final Four – Notre Dame (81) vs. UConn (76) – 26 lead changes

     

    BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE

    Kyler Murray, Oklahoma Football – 2018 Heisman Trophy Winner

    Zion Williamson, Duke MBB – 2019 Wooden Award Winner

    Rachel Garcia, UCLA Softball – USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

    Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon WBB – 2019 Wooden Award Winner

     

    BEST RECORD-BREAKING PERFORMANCE

    Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) passed Peyton Manning’s 71,940 career passing yards to move into first place on the all-time list; most completions in NFL history, 6,300+ completions passes Brett Favre

    Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon Basketball) recorded her 13th triple-double. She now holds the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball record for triple doubles. She surpassed Kyle Collinsworth’s mark of 12 in four seasons at BYU. She also broke the Division I men’s and women’s record in a single season in the Ducks’ 96–78 win over Southern California (7) breaking former BYU guard Kyle Collinsworth

    Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) broke the NBA 3-point record in a game with 14, passing Stephen Curry’s previous mark

    Matthew Boling became the first-ever high schooler to break 10 seconds in the 100-meter dash, dropping a 9.98

     

    BEST PLAY (bracket-style voting)

    • Miami Miracle: Miami Dolphins Stun the New England Patriots
    • Kawhi Leonard Drains Game-Winner at Buzzer in Game 7
    • Derrick Henry’s NFL-record 99-yard run vs. Jaguars
    • Wayne Rooney Just Single-Handedly Won A Match For D.C. United
    • UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi scores a perfect 10
    • Andrew Benintendi calls game
    • Damian Lillard Sends OKC Home On Buzzer Beater
    • Manchester QB Brendon Clar throws this ball to Kevin Henderson for the 48 yard TD catch
    • Texas Tech WR makes one-handed grab that mirrors OBJs best catch
    • Kinsley Washington singled home Jacqui Prober to win the Bruins’ 12th softball title
    • Julie Ertz gives the USWNT the lead early in the second half
    • Texas A&M’s Infinite Tucker goes ALL OUT for the gold
    • Arike Ogunbowale Behind the Back Pass
    • Kihei Clark, Mamadi Diakite Save Virginia at the buzzer
    • Wilmington Charter’s Taylor Gillis with CATCH OF THE YEAR!
    • ‘Hail Mary’ pass helps Texas high school football team win state title
       

    BEST VIRAL SPORTS MOMENT

    Rudolph “Blaze” Ingram, the 7-year-old  running phenom is already faster than you

    Texas A&M’s Infinite Tucker goes ALL OUT for the gold

    Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA Gymnastics – scores a perfect 10

    Don’t Sleep on Sister Mary Jo’s curveball

     

    BEST UPSET

    NCAAF – Old Dominion defeats No. 13 Virginia Tech 49-35, Old Dominion only had a 1.8% chance of winning according to ESPN’s FPI, making it the largest upset by an FBS team in the 14 years of Football Power Index projections

    2018 US Open – Naomi Osaka defeating Serena Williams

    NHL – Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off what many thought impossible, an upset for the ages after a 7-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on in Game 4 of their best-of-7 series.

    Boxing – Andy Ruiz Jr. upset win over Anthony Joshua

     

    BEST INTERNATIONAL MEN’S SOCCER PLAYER

    Lionel Messi

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Kylian Mbappe

    Virgil Van Dyke

     

    BEST INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYER

    Pernille Harder, Denmark

    Ada Hegerberg, Norway

    Sam Kerr, Australia

    Lucy Bronze, England

     

    BEST NFL PLAYER

    Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

    Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams

    Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

    Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

     

    BEST MLB PLAYER

    Mookie Betts, Red Sox

    Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

    Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets

    Blake Snell, Tampa Bays Rays

     

    BEST NHL PLAYER

    Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

    Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

    Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

    Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

     

    BEST DRIVER

    Lewis Hamilton, F1

    Steve Torrence, NHRA

    Scott Dixon, Indy

    Kyle Busch, NASCAR

     

    BEST NBA PLAYER

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

    James Harden, Houston Rockets

    Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

    Paul George, OKC Thunder

     

    BEST WNBA PLAYER

    Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

    Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

    Elena Delle Donne, Washington Mystics

    Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

     

    BEST BOXER

    Canelo Alvarez

    Vasily Lomachenko

    Oleksandr Usyk

    Terence Crawford

     

    BEST MMA FIGHTER

    Israel Adesanya

    Daniel Cormier

    Henry Cejudo

    Amanda Nunes

     

    BEST MALE GOLFER

    Brooks Koepka

    Tiger Woods

    Justin Rose

    Francesco Molinari

     

    BEST FEMALE GOLFER

    Ariya Jutanugarn

    Brooke Henderson

    Jin-Young Ko

    Sung Hyun Park

     

    BEST MALE TENNIS PLAYER

    Novak Djokovic

    Rafael Nadal

    Roger Federer

    Stefanos Tsitsipas

     

    BEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER

    Naomi Osaka

    Simona Halep

    Serena Williams

    Petra Kvitová

     

    BEST MALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE

    Nyjah Huston (USA), skateboard

    Scotty James (AUS), snowboard

    Tom Pages (FRA), freestyle motocross

    Gabriel Medina (BRA), surf

     

    BEST FEMALE ACTION SPORTS ATHLETE

    Kelly Sildaru (EST), ski

    Chloe Kim (USA), snowboard

    Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (NZL), snowboard

    Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), surf

     

    BEST JOCKEY

    Irad Ortiz Jr.

    Mike Smith

    Florent Geroux

    Jose Ortiz

     

    BEST MALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY

    Mark Barr – Triathlon

    Declan Farmer  – Hockey

    Daniel Romanchuk – Marathon Racing

    Oz Sanchez – Cycling

     

    BEST FEMALE ATHLETE WITH A DISABILITY

    Oksana Masters, Nordic Skiing

    Tatyana McFadden, Marathon Racing

    Shawn Morelli, Cycling

    Allysa Seely, Triathlon

     

    BEST BOWLER

    Jason Belmonte

    Norm Duke

    Anthony Simonsen

    Jakob Butturff

     

    BEST MLS PLAYER

    Josef Martinez, Atlanta United

    Wayne Rooney, DC United

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic, LA Galaxy

    Aaron Long, NY Red Bulls

     

    BEST NWSL PLAYER

    Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns

    Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns

    Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars

    Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage

     

    BEST ESPORTS MOMENT (bracket-style voting)

    SonicFox winning Evo after switching sides
    Team Liquid upsets defending world champ Invictus Gaming at MSI
    Cloud9 wins CS:GO Boston Major
    Astralis winning Katowice
    Invictus League of Legends World Championship
    Spitfire win inaugural Overwatch League championship
    Serral winning StarCraft at BlizzCon
    Shanghai Dragons end 42-game losing streak
    Team OG wins the International and $11 million from qualifiers
    Chiquita Evans becoming the first woman in the 2K League
    oLarry’s return to the NBA 2K League after the Jacksonville shooting
    Leffen finally winning EVO in what could be Melee’s last year at the event
    Ninja Fortnite win with Marshmello at E3 ProAM
    Chritobin Madden Challenge walk off
    G2 wins R6 world championship
    Mongausse winning Summer Skirmish from out of nowhere
     

    BEST WWE MOMENT

    Roman Reigns returns to WWE Raw, announces his Leukemia is in remission

    Becky Lynch wins both WWE Women’s Championship Titles at Wrestlemania 35

    Kofi Kingston wins his first WWE Heavyweight Championship Title at Wrestlemania 35

    Ronda Rousey defeats Alexa Bliss at Summerslam 2018 to win her first RAW Women’s Championship Title
     

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