Home / Sports / Bill Russell, Alex Morgan and other athletes from the Bay Area win ESPYs

Bill Russell, Alex Morgan and other athletes from the Bay Area win ESPYs

Alex Morgan, player of the US National Women's Team (USWNT), and Bill Russell, Oakland native and NBA legend, were among the four people linked to the San Bay area Francisco awarded the ESPY Awards at a ceremony organized by ESPN in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Morgan, who played college football at UC Berkeley, was one of the key players of the USWNT who recently won the 2019 Women's World Cup in Lyon, France.

"Sorry, but it 's probably the second best trophy we' ve won this week," said Morgan to launch his acceptance speech for ESPY. Then she shrugged and laughed.

In addition to his field exploits, Morgan has been a strong advocate for pay equity between the national football team and the men's team.

"I feel that we are more than a football team, we are sort of an American team, seeing everyone celebrate and support us through these successes," she told a SNY reporter. , a sports television channel in New York after the team returned from France. "And knowing that so much depends on our success in terms of equal pay and being in the forefront of everything and talking about important issues that fascinate us."

Russell, who played basketball at McClymonds High School and at the University of San Francisco before embarking on a busy career with the Boston Celtics, received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at ESPY.

"I am honored to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award," he said in a statement before the awards ceremony. "Arthur was a man of great courage, who was fighting on the ground for equality."

Serena Williams, who grew up in Southern California but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, won the Best Female Athlete Award. Over the past year, she has qualified for the US Open and Wimbledon Finals after her comeback in September 2017.

And a Bay Area football coach, Rob Mendez from Prospect High School in Saratoga, California, is awarded the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Mendez, born without members and coach of the junior football team at Prospect, was featured on the cover of ESPN magazine.

"I know that I want to fight to be the best coach I can be, I have never given up, I'm not about to do it now," he wrote in a statement. personal essay on the ESPN website. "And off the field, I want to continue to inspire people to pursue their dreams, never give up."

Drew Costley is a SFGATE editorial assistant. E-mail: drew.costley@sfgate.com | Twitter: @drewcostley

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