SLU's Robin Roberts wins Arthur Ashe ESPY Award
Southeastern Louisiana University alumna Robin Roberts added another honor to an already legendary resume on Wednesday when the current "Good Morning America" anchor received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2013 ESPYs.
Roberts, a 1983 graduate of Southeastern, received the prestigious award following a triumphant return from a pair of serious illnesses in the past six years. One of the first female anchors for ESPN, Roberts spent 15 years with the network before moving to her current position with GMA.
The award, named for the former professional tennis player whose contributions off the tennis court were as well known as his accomplishments on it, is presented to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Past honorees include Jim Valvano (the original recipient in 1993), Muhammad Ali, Dean Smith, Billie Jean King, Nelson Mandela and Pat Summitt.
Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and her public battle was recognized with awards and honors from organizations around the country, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation; the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program; and Gilda's Club, a non-profit organization founded by the late Joel Siegel.
Last year, Roberts battled the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome where she received a bone marrow transplant last October from her sister, WWL-TV anchor Sally-Ann Roberts, before returning to the GMA set in February.
"Robin brings an amazing amount of energy, compassion and determination to everything she does," ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement announcing the award.
"Those qualities made her an incredible asset during her time here at ESPN, and they have served her well as she battled the terrible health challenges that she's had to face. Robin's accomplishments in so many areas, as an athlete, a broadcaster, a cancer survivor and more, demonstrate her ability to shine regardless of adversity and we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of this year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award."
Roberts starred on the basketball court for the Lady Lions from 1979-83 and is one of four players in school history to record over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.
A 1991 inductee into the Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame, Roberts currently ranks among the program's career leaders in points (1,446), rebounds (1,034), games played (114), field goals made (507), free throws made (432) and free throw percentage (72.0).