2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Skeet Reese is one of five nominees for the Best Outdoor Athlete award in the 2008 ESPYs co-presented by HUMMER and Under Armour.
"I'm stunned to be considered for something like this," said Reese. "I'm really looking forward to going to Los Angeles and hanging out with world-class athletes from other sports. It's really cool."
BASS anglers have fared well at the ESPYS. In 2002 Kevin VanDam was named Best Outdoors Athlete; in 2003 Jay Yelas won the same award; and in 2006 Tammy Richardson was named Best Angler.
"And, every time one of us (anglers) gets nominated — or hopefully wins — it says that professional bass fishing is gaining respect in the sporting community. It says that we are gaining recognition as professional athletes. That's something we deserve.
"This is not about me. Sure, I'd like to win, but the benefits to our sport are more important than an ESPY trophy sitting on my mantle.
"Other nominees are dog musher Lance Mackey, champion of the 2007 and 2008 Iditarod; 50-year-old marathon swimmer Skip Storch, who circled the island of Manhattan in record time in August 2007; mountain climber Scott Smiley, who scaled Mount Rainier in 2007 despite having lost his sight in the war in Iraq; and mountain climber Dave Hahn, who has reached the summit of Mount Everest 10 times, a record among American climbers.
Fans can vote for Reese online at the ESPY Web site. Winners will be announced on July 20. The event will be carried live on ESPN at 9 p.m. and will be hosted by Justin Timberlake.