View Full Version : KU UNI men's team, Thomas family win ESPY awards

Pitt Gorilla
07-14-2010, 09:26 PM

CEDAR FALLS --- The Northern Iowa men's basketball team got another moment in the national spotlight Wednesday night.

The Panther cagers walked away with an ESPY, an award created by ESPN.
The ESPYs, now in their 17th year, recognize the biggest achievements in sports throughout the past year.

Head coach Ben Jacobson and graduates Ali Farokhmanesh and Adam Koch were on hand at the live, annual ESPY Awards show in Los Angeles.

The team received the Best Upset award for upending top-ranked Kansas in last March's NCAA Tournament.

UNI raked in one more award from its historic, 30-5 basketball season, which hit its zenith in a 69-67 triumph over tradition-rich Kansas last March 20, leading to a Sweet 16 appearance.

UNI receive more votes than golfer Y.E. Yang, who held off Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship; Frankie Edgar, who stunned MMA fighter B.J. Penn; and the Hawaii softball squad, which upset No. 1 Alabama.

Just moments after the trio walked off with their award, another Northeast Iowan was recognized for his lifetime achievements.

The family of the late Ed Thomas - the former decorated, longtime football coach at Aplington-Parkersburg received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Ed Thomas was slain 13 months ago by former Falcon player Mark Becker. ESPN honored the Thomas family in part because of its "capacity to forgive" and how it has continued to embrace Becker's family, and also for its creation of the Ed Thomas Family Foundation.

A video narrated by Keifer Sutherland detailed Thomas' life and death. It included interviews from the Thomas family, wife Jan, and sons Aaron and Todd. Dave and Joan Becker, Mark Becker's parents, were also part of the presentation.

Aaron Thomas spoke on behalf of the family. He talked of how his father led by example.

"He was led by his faith, his family and finally his football," he said.
Aaron Thomas said his father's words will live on. He said his father would want the family to get up and dust themselves off.

Past winners of the Arthur Ashe Award include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Jim Valvano.

"The Thomas family showed us how people can come together under extraordinary circumstances that would normally drive them apart," said ESPN executive John Skipper in a statement.

07-14-2010, 09:29 PM
I only caught a bit of it... but I'm guessing that the "Blind Side" spoof they did with Peyton Manning will be a youtube hit shortly.

07-14-2010, 10:44 PM
I only caught a bit of it... but I'm guessing that the "Blind Side" spoof they did with Peyton Manning will be a youtube hit shortly.

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