Our 2024 ESPY Awards Predictions!

The ESPY awards are upon us, and this year’s competition is tough! Here are our predictions for which athletes will be crowned!

For those of you who are new or unfamiliar with the ESPY Awards, they honor the top athletes and sports performances for a given year. Every year, the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPY) awards are measured by their athletic achievement and popularity among fans.  That being said, here are our picks for which athletes will add an ESPY to their trophy case! 

Best Athlete, Mens Sports: Shoehei Ohtani

The ESPY award for best athlete in men’s sports will most likely go to Shohei Ohtani. Shohei Ohtani has not slowed down and continues to demonstrate himself as the most dominant baseball player in the world right now. Shohei Ohtani plays the position of pitcher in baseball. Historically, pitchers are often not considered the best batters because they focus all their efforts on perfecting their pitch. Shohei Ohtani, on the other hand, is found to be second place in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs; he’s also fourth place in batting average and hits. The point is, no matter where you see Shohei come out to play baseball, it will never be disappointing but rather a sigh of relief because he is about to control the game.

Best Athlete, Women’s Sports: Caitlin Clark

We predict the ESPY award for best athlete in women’s sports will go to Caitlin Clark. Caitlin Clark has had a breakout rookie season in the WNBA, already breaking multiple records in the WNBA. Caitlin Clark has made great athletic achievements this year and beyond, and she’s already become a prominent figure in women’s basketball off the court. Her popularity has inspired a lot of young athletes, and she has already become a role model in her rookie season in the WNBA. Caitlin Clark has a very special role in women’s basketball. She’s brought so much attention to the sport and given it the recognition it’s long past deserved. Caitlin Clark is the best athlete in women’s sports not only because she’s incredible but also because the things she’s done for her sport have been immense for the future of the WNBA.

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Victor Wembanyama

The ESPY award for the best breakthrough athlete will most likely go to Victor Wembanyama. Rookie of the year winner in the NBA and already a force to be reckoned with in the league, Victor Wembanyama is the easy choice for the breakthrough athlete award. Averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks per game as a rookie is incredible. To be able to have such an impact on the league this early on in his career is evidence enough that Wembanyama is the right pick for this award. 

Best Record-Breaking Performance: Caitlin Clark

The ESPY award for best record-breaking performance also belongs to Caitlin Clark. For the same reason shared above, except this time, they’re even further amplified. Caitlin Clark’s college career was beyond exceptional, earning 31.6 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, and 8.9 assists. Not only that, but the nomination emphasizes Caitlin Clark breaking the NCAA’s all-time scoring record, beating out Pete Maravich.

Best Championship Performance: Jaylen Brown

The ESPY award for best championship performance, due to his significant contributions throughout the whole of Boston’s playoff run, belongs to Jaylen Brown. Overcoming injuries, leading the team to a playoff win, and playing exceptionally himself have earned him the right to this award. 

Best Comeback Athlete: Simone Biles

The ESPY award for best comeback athlete should rightfully go to Simone Biles. Focusing on her mental health, openly discussing her struggles, and becoming a powerful advocate for mental health, Simone Biles came back to gymnastics in 2024, winning the all-around title at the U.S. Classic. If that isn’t enough proof for her to win the award, we don’t know what is.

Best Play: Alabama scores on 4th & 31 to win Auburn

The ESPY award for best play has to go to Alabama and their game-winning play. With 43 seconds left in the game, down by 4, they had one last chance to come back and win the game, and they executed.

Best Team: Kansas City Chiefs

The ESPY award for best team will likely go to the Kansas City Chiefs. Winning the Super Bowl two years in a row is an extremely impressive feat. Keeping many of the same players and the same team culture has earned them a high likelihood of winning the best team award.

Best College Athlete, Men’s Sports: Zach Edey

We believe the ESPY award for best college athlete will fall to Zach Edey this year for his valiant effort in bringing Purdue a basketball championship. Through his leadership, skillset, and consistency, Zach Edey made a huge positive impact on his team’s success.

Best College Athlete, Women’s Sports: Caitlin Clark

It needs no explanation; we believe in the Caitlin Clark sweep this year. Caitlin Clark was a dominant college athlete, if there were a best college athlete award in general, we think it would also go to Caitlin Clark.

Best Athlete With A Disability: Oksana Masters

Oksana Masters has earned herself the ESPY award for best athlete with a disability for her extreme versatility. Earning numerous medals in skiing and hand cycling, she’s proven to be an incredible athlete.

Best NFL Player: Lamar Jackson

A dual-threat quarterback is no joke, and that’s what we think will separate Lamar Jackson from the competition. He earned himself the ESPY award for best NFL player. His playmaking ability is second to none, whether it be passing, rushing, or quick-thinking in the clutch.

Best MLB Player: Shohei Ohtani

Rightfully so, Shohei Ohtani is the most influential and best baseball player there is right now. It would be no surprise to see him win this ESPY, too.

Best NHL Player: Connor McDavid

Widely regarded as the best player in the NHL, it would be no surprise if Connor McDavid won the ESPY for best NHL player. Statistical dominance and leadership to bring his team to the Stanley Cup has earned him this ESPY

Best NBA Player: Luka Dončić

There is no question that Luka Dončić’s effort to get the Mavericks to the NBA finals has earned him the best NBA player ESPY award. The work he had to put in was second to none, and he nearly averaged 30 points and a triple double a game. With stats like that, Luka Dončić has definitely earned it this year.

Best WNBA Player: A’ja Wilson

The best WNBA player, ESPY, should fall into the hands of A’ja Wilson this year. A’ja Wilson is a statistical beast, averaging 27 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.8 steals as a center. We think she absolutely deserves recognition for this award this year.

Best Driver: Max Verstappen

This is no surprise; the best driver ESPY is a no-brainer. Although there are plenty of great drivers, no one can do it quite like Max Verstappen can. Max Verstappen has more racing feats than you can count on ten hands and has shown no signs of stopping. This award might not go to another person for the foreseeable future.

Best UFC Fighter: Sean O’Malley

Although it could really go to any of the candidates, we predict the best UFC fighter ESPY will go to Sean O’Malley. Sean O’Malley has become increasingly popular over the years and is now one of the more well-known fighters. With skill and popularity on his side, this award is a dead giveaway.

Best Boxer: Terence Crawford

The best boxer ESPY will likely fall to Terence Crawford. Being the undisputed champion of multiple weight classes is beyond impressive, and having multiple world titles in different weight classes on top of that is just as absurd. Terence Crawford is an undefeated beast; this award would be a fitting description of his performances this year.

Best Soccer Player: Kylian Mbappé

We predict the ESPY for best soccer player will go to Kylian Mbappé because this award provides the only fitting description of his performances this year. Scoring three goals in a World Cup final and dominating internationally, Kylian Mbappé is the most consistent and frighteningly good soccer player there is.

Best Golfer: Scottie Scheffler

The ESPY for best golfer belongs to Scottie Scheffler. Along with all of his PGA tour wins and his 2023 best golfer ESPY, he has still solidified himself as the world’s number one golfer.

Best Tennis Player: Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz has proved himself as one of the brightest young talents in tennis. Carlos Alcaraz has earned the ESPY for best tennis player this year, seeing as he’s the youngest male player to win a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal. The sky’s the limit for the 21 year old, and we believe this is another accolade of many for him.

Lastly, the ESPY award for best AfterBuzz TV reader goes to you for sticking it out and making it all this way!

About the Author

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Zach Perkins

Zach Perkins is a media intern at AfterBuzz TV and a senior marketing major at LMU! He has a passion for media, acting, and all things entertainment!