New Orleans Saints fans have known Jarrius Robertson since last fall, when his passionate fandom earned him a contract as a team “hype man.” NBA fans met the ebullient 15-year-old in February at All-Star weekend in New Orleans, when he became an internet sensation.
And in July, other sports fans will meet Jarrius, who suffers from a chronic liver disease and has undergone two transplants and 13 surgeries, when he accepts the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs.
Jarrius’ statement on being picked for this award was priceless.
“When I first heard the news I thought I was dreaming!” Robertson said in a statement. “The ESPYS? For real? The past two years have been a blessing in so many ways for me and my family. I have been able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. But to be included with Craig Sager, Stuart Scott, Leah and Devon Still, Eric LeGrand and the man himself, Jimmy V, is truly amazing and I am really grateful and humbled.”
The Jimmy V Award was, of course, named after late North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano. The award is typically given to someone battling a disease or disability.
Jarrius has already earned legions of fans with appearances on Good Morning America, at WWE’s Smackdown Live event and at NBA All-Star Weekend, where he talked trash to Draymond Green, then scored in the celebrity game.
In an ESPN release, Saints quarterback Drew Brees complimented Jarrius’ attitude and energy.
“Jarrius is such an inspirational young man,” said New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. “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 ESPYs will be held July 12. We look forward to seeing what Jarrius has in store for an acceptance speech.