Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has been selected as the Jimmy V Award winner for this year’s ESPYs on ESPN. He made the announcement Monday at his annual golf tournament.
The annual awards show will be held on July 11.
Kelly’s battling cancer again
The 58-year-old Kelly announced on March 1 that his oral cancer had returned; he underwent a 12-hour surgery on March 28 to remove the cancer and reconstruct his jaw. This is the third time he’s battled cancer.
“I’ve been through a lot but I know that I don’t have it that bad,” Kelly said on Monday. “I made it to the 32nd annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic and that’s what counts.”
Last month, just six weeks after that intensive procedure, he was at Bills’ rookie minicamp, where he spent some time with the team’s first-round draft pick, Josh Allen.
Jimmy V Award recognizes perseverance
Kelly will be the 12th recipient of the Jimmy V Award, named in honor of former North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who gave a memorable and stirring speech at the 1993 ESPYs, as he was battling cancer himself. Valvano died later that year.
Kelly won’t be the first Buffalo Bills player to get the award: in 2008, it was given to Kevin Everett, the Bills’ tight end who suffered a life-threatening cervical spine injury in the 2007 season opener while playing on special teams. Everett did regain the ability to walk.
Last year’s winner was Jarrius Robertson, the New Orleans Saints superfan and the team’s official “hype man”; the teenager has undergone two liver transplants and at least 13 surgeries in his young life, as he fights daily against the effects of biliary atresia, a chronic liver disease.