VCU hoops, UVa.’s Starsia nominated for ESPYs

Music stars have the Grammys, movie stars have the Oscars. TV stars have the Emmys and sports stars have the ESPYs.

It’s an exclusive list that gets to enjoy one of the best night in sports, but the VCU men’s basketball team will be on that list next month. The Rams have earned an ESPY Nomination for “Biggest Upset” for their unforgettable March and their upset of top-seeded Kansas in the Southwest Regional Final.

“This is just a really cool opportunity for us and I’m blessed to be able enjoy it with some of my closest friends,” senior Joey Rodriguez said. “To be invited to one of the biggest nights in sports and in the same crowd as these superstars is something we’ll never forget.”

Along with Rodriguez, Head Coach Shaka Smart, Jamie Skeen, Ed Nixon and Brandon Rozzell will head to Los Angeles from July 12-14th. An exclusive gathering for all the nominees will take place on July 12th and the live taping of the ESPYs on Wednesday, July 13th at Nokia Theatre.

Virginia men’s lacrosse head coach Dom Starsia, meanwhile, is one of five nominees for an ESPY award in the category of Best Coach/Manager. The ESPYs are LIVE this year and this is the one night where athletes from all sports join together to celebrate the best moments of the year.

Also nominated in the category with Starsia is UConn men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun, Dallas Mavericks coach and UVa alum Rick Carlisle, Auburn football head coach Gene Chizik and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Starsia led UVa to the 2011 NCAA title with a 13-5 overall record. Virginia became the first No. 7 seed and five-loss team to win a NCAA men’s lacrosse title. Along the way he passed Jack Emmer (326) for most career victories all-time at a Division I school with a convincing 13-9 triumph over No. 2 seed Cornell in the NCAA quarterfinal round.

Fans can vote for the 2011 ESPYs at

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


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