Saints super fan Jarrius "JJ" Robertson will be honored with the Jimmy v Perseverance Award at the ESPYs.
The 25th annual ESPYS, an awards show that celebrates the year in sports, will be televised on July 12 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
Robertson, a 15-year old who attends Lutcher High School, has battled biliary atresia, a chronic liver disease, his entire life. He has undergone two liver transplant, including his most recent one in April.
He has exemplified perseverance, continuing to make appearances at practices and games for both the Saints and LSU athletics while battling his health issues.
“Jarrius is such an inspirational young man,” said New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a statement. “His strength, determination and resolve along with his infectious energy and attitude should be an example that no matter the circumstances or adversity, with a positive outlook and embracing the motto of ‘Don’t Give Up… Don’t Ever Give Up’ there isn’t a challenge that cannot be conquered.”
The Jimmy V Perseverance Award was named after, and inspired by, the late Jim Valvano who, while battling cancer, gave an emotional acceptance speech at the 1993 ESPYS that included his famous words "Don't Give Up . . . Don't Ever Give Up!". Valvano passed away less than two months later, but his words were never forgotten.
The Jimmy V Perseverance Award is given to a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination. In 2007, Women's College basketball coach Kay Yow became the very first recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Past recipients include Eric LeGrand, Anthony Robles, George Karl, Dick and Rick Hoyt, Stuart Scott, Devon and Leah Still and Craig Sager.
"We are so lucky to be honoring such a determined and passionate individual,” said ESPYS executive producer Maura Mandt. “It may be his unparalleled enthusiasm and infectious positivity that make Jarrius “JJ” Robertson the number one New Orleans Saints superfan, but it is his unbreakable spirit that will be celebrated this year.”