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Warriors win big as Stephen Curry becomes 2nd NBA player to host The ESPYS

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Warriors guard Stephen Curry and wife Ayesha Curry arrive on the Red Carpet for the 2022 ESPYS.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry hosted The ESPYS on Wednesday and joined WNBA players Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith in calling attention to detained WNBA star Brittney Griner’s plight.

Griner was arrested in Russia in February after customs officials said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She faces as much as 10 years in prison if convicted on charges of transporting drugs.

“It’s been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained 1000’s of miles away from home, away from her family, away from her friends, away from her team,” Diggins-Smith said. “All throughout that point, we’ve kept her in our thoughts and in our hearts although we all know that ain’t nearly enough to bring her home, y’all.”

Wearing her Phoenix Mercury jersey under his track suit, Curry noted the trouble being made to free Griner.

“But as we hope for the perfect, we urge the whole global sports community to proceed to remain energized on her behalf,” he said. “She’s one among us, the team of athletes on this room tonight and everywhere in the world. A team that has nothing to do with politics or global conflict.”

They were applauded by Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, who was within the audience on the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Lock in! @ESPYS pic.twitter.com/iHwa8iHmoy

— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 20, 2022

Curry picked up a trophy, too, for best record-breaking performance, having set the mark for many 3-pointers made in league history. He also shared the perfect team award with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

And teammate Klay Thompson won Best Comeback Athlete for his championship-winning return to the court after 941 days following back-to-back injuries — a ruptured Achilles while rehabbing a torn ACL.

INSPIRATIONAL.@KlayThompson has won Best Comeback Athlete on the 2022 ESPYS! pic.twitter.com/a016HiOChx

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 21, 2022

ESPN college basketball broadcaster and former Pistons coach Dick Vitale received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The 83-year-old has undergone multiple melanoma surgeries and 6 months of chemotherapy for lymphoma over the past yr. In March, he said he was cancer free.

Vitale dismissed messages on the teleprompter urging him to conclude his remarks, which stretched to twenty minutes.

“I’m gonna wrap up in about three minutes,” he said in a raspy voice. “Jimmy’s dream was to beat cancer. We must do it since it doesn’t discriminate. It comes in any case.”

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