The event was filmed Wednesday night at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles with former Lipscomb basketball coach Don Meyer receiving the "Jimmy V Perseverance" Award. Philip Hutcheson, Lipscomb athletics director, was in the audience and noted that coach Meyer received two standing ovations during his speech as well as a number of compliments from ESPN staffers.
The award is named for the late Jimmy Valvano, who coached at North Carolina State and later was an ESPN commentator before passing away from cancer. The award is presented to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through physical determination and perseverance.
Hutcheson was joined by his wife, Vera. Also present were Wade Tomlinson and his wife, Jennifer. Both Hutcheson and Tomlinson played for Meyer at Lipscomb. Meyer was also joined by many family members as well.
Meyer was the featured speaker April 28 at the inaugural Don Meyer "Evening of Excellence" at Allen Arena. The event also served as the official kick-off for the National Bison Club, which provides support for 17 varsity athletics programs. Andy Lane is serving as the executive director. Plans are already underway for the 2010 "Evening of Excellence".
The inaugural event attracted approximately 600 for a VIP dinner and more than 2,000 to hear his keynote speech.
Meyer, the men’s basketball coach at Northern State, is battling cancer and lost a leg as the result of serious injuries from an automobile accident Sept. 5. Meyer returned to coach during the 2008-2009 season. He won his 903rd career game Jan. 10 to break the previous record held by Bobby Knight.
The ESPY Awards honor the best achievements, moments and leading athletes of the previous year.