Former Notre Dame basketball player, Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient to accept the award July 15 on ABC
When Danielle Green lost her left arm to a rocket-propelled grenade explosion while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004, it was not the veteran-athlete’s first hurdle she had to overcome, and it wouldn’t be her last. Raised by her grandmother on the rough streets of Chicago’s South Side, Green had willed her way to Notre Dame, where she thrived as a serious student and standout member of the women’s basketball team. With the same determination, she set her sights on serving her country after graduating and is now a proud Purple Heart recipient. For her strength through adversity and continued commitment to her country, Danielle Green will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One on July 15.
One of the first female troops injured in Iraq, Green returned home without the dominant arm that had propelled her basketball career. Despite this, she returned to school, earned her master’s, and devoted herself to helping other service members. Today, she works for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Supervisory Readjustment Counseling Therapist at the South Bend Vet Center near her alma mater. She provides post-war veterans and their family members and veterans who report military sexual trauma with readjustment counseling services. She provides quality care to those combat veterans who suffer from the mental scars of war while assisting them with their transition to civilian life.
“In addition to celebrating the year in sports, The ESPYS have always been committed to also celebrating the human spirit and last year we were proud to honor Josh Sweeney with the first Pat Tillman Award for Service,” said Connor Schell, senior vice president, ESPN Films and Original Entertainment, who oversees The ESPYS. “This year, we’re honoring Danielle Green who has embodied the selfless spirit of service in the face of harsh adversity and has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to others both in and out of uniform.”
Executive producer Maura Mandt added: “Pat Tillman and his brother Kevin made a strong, lasting impression when we honored them at The 2003 ESPYS with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage and it is important to everyone associated with the show that we continue to support the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans. Danielle Green represents the very best in the men and women who serve in our armed forces today as well as all those who have ever worn the uniform. It is a privilege for us to be able to present this award to Danielle, in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Foundation.”
The Pat Tillman Award for Service, commemorating the former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger’s legacy, honors an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes the legacy of Tillman. Green will be presented with the award at The 2015 ESPYS in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Foundation, a national leader in providing academic support and scholarships to veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses. The award was introduced at last year’s ESPYS with U.S. Paralympic gold medal sled hockey player and Purple Heart recipient Josh Sweeney receiving the award.
“As a teammate and soldier, Pat believed we should always strive to be part of something bigger than ourselves while empowering those around us,” said Marie Tillman, president and co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation. “Through both injury and personal loss, Danielle has been unwavering in her aspiration to lift others suffering from the physical and mental injuries of war. In Pat’s name, we’re proud to continue the new tradition of the Tillman Award, honoring Danielle for her service as a voice and advocate for this generation of veterans.”
The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will be hosted by comedian, actor and television host Joel McHale, most widely known for hosting The Soup on E! as well as playing Jeff Winger on Community. The ESPYS will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Tickets are on sale for public purchase now at axs.com. For more information and to apply for press credentials visit The 2015 ESPYS Media Kit.
The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2015 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. Inspiring human stories are showcased through three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.
About the Pat Tillman Foundation
In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships–building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation, visit www.PatTillmanFoundation.org.