Inspiring Athletes

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ESPN announced its nominees for the 2011 ESPYS on Friday and several are familiar names to Inspiring Athletes:

Trevor Bayne (Best Moment)

Bayne was nominated for his record-breaking performance as the youngest Daytona 500 winner ever. He won 2011 race just one day removed from his 20th birthday.

“I want to be real,” Bayne told Inspiring Athletes. “I don’t want to pose as anything. I don’t want to pose as a tough guy. I don’t want to pose as a nice guy. Whatever Trevor Bayne is, that’s what I’m going to be. Staying humble is the key to this. I try to let that shine through. This can be gone in a second.”

Click here for more of Inspiring Athletes’ recent story on Bayne.

Tamika Catchings (Best WNBA Player)

Catchings is a two-time gold medalist who won her fourth WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award during the 2010 season with the Indiana Fever.

“All the things I’ve been through have given me a platform to be able to talk to people,” Catchings once told me. “I grew up with a hearing problem and I had to wear a hearing aid. I grew up with a speech problem. I had glasses and braces. I dealt with all the things as a young child that you don’t want to face. But it made me stronger and it helped me become the person that I am today.”

Kelly Clark (Best Female Athlete & Best Female Action Sport Athlete)

Clark won X-Games Gold in the half pipe event and became the first female athletes to land a 1080 in competition.

“I thought being a Christian was about following rules and going to church and being good all the time,” Clark once told me. “But (a friend of mine) helped me understand that it’s about having a relationship with God and not about being religious. That was where things shifted for me.”

Be looking for a full interview with Clark in a forthcoming edition of Inspiring Athletes.

Kevin Durant (Best NBA Player)

Durant led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Western Conference Finals and topped all NBA scorers in the process with a 27.7 per game average.

“In the Bible, (it says) the Lord exalts humility and that’s one thing I try to be all the time—when I’m talking in front of people or when people tell me I’m great, I (remind myself that I) can always be better,” Durant told Inspiring Athletes. “I always work on what I have now. I’ve just got to be thankful to the Lord for what the gifts He’s given me. My gift back to Him is to always be humble and to always try to work as hard as I can.”

Click here to read more from Inspiring Athletes’ story about Durant.

Some other nominees include:

Gene Chizik (Best Coach)

Josh Hamilton (Best MLB Player)

Allyson Felix (Best Track & Field Athlete)

Blake Griffin (Breakthrough Athlete)

Troy Polamalu (Best NFL Player)

Aaron Rodgers (Best Male Athlete & Best NFL Player)

Tim Thomas (Best Championship Performance & Best NHL Player)

Soul Surfer (Best Movie)

The ESPYS will be shown on ESPN, Wednesday, July 13th, at 9p ET/8p CT. You can vote for the ESPYS by clicking here.

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