Robin Roberts ESPN Award To Recognize TV Veteran's Courage

Image: Robin Roberts ESPN Award To Recognize TV Veteran's Courage

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 10:38 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Television veteran Robin Roberts will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage award at the 2013 ESPYS in July, ESPN announced Tuesday.

The Arthur Ashe Courage award is given annually to someone whose contributions transcend sports. One of the first female sports anchors on ESPN in the '90s, Roberts joins past honorees like Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Dean Smith.

Known as a pioneer for women in broadcasting, Roberts has worked with ABC's "Good Morning America" for the past two decades. The ESPY award will honor the courage she has displayed during her battle with two life-threatening illnesses.

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Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, underwent a bone marrow transplant in September to treat myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS, a rare cancer-like blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.

She returned to the show last month after clearing her 100-day benchmark in December when her tests showed no abnormalities.

"I'm excited but there's a range of emotion," Roberts told "GMA" in January, when speculation about her return swirled. "I haven't been live on television since the end of August. My heart is beating so fast right now but, you know what, it means I'm alive, I'm alive and I'm so grateful to be excited as I am and I can't wait to be back."

Roberts also deserves the ESPY award for her achievements in sports. She played four seasons for the Southeastern Louisiana University women's basketball team and ranks among the team's leaders for points scored, rebounds, field goals made, and games played. She was inducted into the Women's Institute on Sport and Education's Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Roberts joined ESPN in 1990 as an anchorwoman for "SportsCenter" and "NFL Primetime." During her time there, she became the first woman to host an NFL pregame show during the playoffs, substituting for John Saunders.

Related stories:

Following Transplant, Robin Roberts Announces Return to 'GMA'

NBC Nixed Tweet From Ann Curry to Robin Roberts, Fearing It Would 'Aid the Enemy'

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