The annual events are transforming to an on-demand awards show broadcast
The show must go on—especially when it comes to honoring some of the top high school athletes across America.
While many events have been canceled since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the hardest-hit groups has been high school student-athletes. Entire sports calendars were upended, with seasons postponed and then canceled, leaving seniors without a final hurrah.
But what’s been lost has not, and will not, be forgotten.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts and some incredibly creative maneuvering, USA Today’s High School Sports Awards series will take place. And the ceremonies have shaped up to not only face the circumstances affecting the current sports landscape, but also to provide one of the more compelling experiences for the athletes, their families, friends, schools, and all those involved.
Unlike years past, when each of the 59 events were held in a live setting—an ESPY style celebration—the 2020 series take place virtually. Each unique, approximately hour-long event will broadcast on the corresponding website, with a social media feed set up so people can join in on the fun—plus, there will be a way to donate to COVID-19 relief efforts!
And, unlike years past, where the ceremonies would feature one professional athlete, this year’s events will feature 16, with four sports broadcasters hosting each specific show. The names of the presenters need only listing, to name a few:
- Patrick Mahomes
- Bill Belichick
- Stephen Curry
- Wayne Gretzky
- Michael Phelps
- Venus Williams
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee
- Gabby Douglas
Beyond those decorated athletes, Hoda Kotb will make an appearance, while also promoting the award shows on the Today Show.
It might not be your typical sendoff—but, in this case, that might not be a bad thing.
The events premier Thursday, June 18, at 6:00 p.m., in the local time zone, and will be available on-demand afterward. For more details, on the national level and the local events, go to sportsawards.usatoday.com.