White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks to be honored at 2023 ESPYS after beating cancer, returning to MLB

The reliever, who battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023
ESPYS honoring White Sox pitcher Hendriks for comeback from cancer
The ESPY Awards are honoring Chicago White Sox pitcher Liam Hendriks with the Jimmy V Award for perseverance.

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher and cancer survivor Liam Hendriks will be recognized at the 2023 ESPYS for his strength and resilience since his diagnosis with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hendriks will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, which is named after the late Jim Valvano, a former broadcaster at ESPN who gave a famously impassioned speech about living with cancer when he was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the first ESPYS in 1993.

Back-to-back All-Star seasons with the White Sox had Hendriks feeling invincible -- until he wasn't. In December, the 2022 off-season was interrupted by the cancer diagnosis.

The reliever refused defeat, undergoing chemotherapy while continuing to throw from the mound and donating $100,000 to cancer research throughout his treatment. He maintained a positive attitude that not only impressed his teammates but helped him persevere.

Hendriks announced in April that he was "cancer free," before returning to the mound in May to a standing ovation against the Los Angeles Angels. In his first appearance as a survivor, he threw 16 strikes.

"It was definitely emotional," Hendricks said. "There was a lot going on. It was nerve-wracking going out, being available today and having that go on. It was humbling going out there and walking out there and seeing the amount of people wearing my shirts, the amount of people having signs or flags or anything like that, the amount of people that were chanting, the outpouring of love, not only online and social media but in person has been huge."

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The Jimmy V Award was first given out at the 2007 ESPYS. The award show helps raise awareness and funds for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the charity founded by Valvano.

Previous recipients include Dick Vitale (2022), Chris Nikic (2021), Craig Sager (2016) and Stuart Scott (2014).

The world's best athletes and biggest stars will join ESPN for The 2023 ESPY Awards, airing July 12 at 8|7c on ABC.

ESPN contributed to this report.