'Best Angler' nominees announced for ESPYS

CELEBRATION, Fla. — Nominations for The 2006 ESPYS Co-presented by GMC and Under Armour have been announced and the "Best Angler" category — formerly "Best Outdoors" — includes four BASS anglers.

Nominated this year are:

Greg Hackney — One of the hottest anglers in the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series, 32-year-old Hackney is currently leading on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index with 47 pounds, 14 ounces and is sixth in the CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. The Louisiana angler has qualified for bass fishing's most major event, the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, four times and has finished in the money in an astounding 37 of 42 BASS tournaments, earning nearly $700,000. The 2004 Toyota Rookie of the Year has won three BASS events in his career — including the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series' Lone Star Shootout presented by Triton Boats on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas.

Ish Monroe — In the midst of a breakout season, California's Monroe kicked off the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series season with his first-ever BASS win at the Battle on the Border presented by Mercury Marine on Lake Amistad in Texas. Since then, Monroe has finished in the money three times. The 32-year-old pro is currently 39th in CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings and tied for 31st on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index with 30 pounds, 2 ounces. He has qualified for bass fishing's "big dance," the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, three times.

Preston Clark — In only his second year as a CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series pro, 41-year-old Clark has already made a name for himself - finishing sixth in the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic and capturing his first BASS win in the Santee Cooper Showdown presented by MotorGuide in South Carolina earlier this year. With his win, Clark smashed the four-day heaviest record with a total weight of 115 pounds, 15 ounces, overshadowing the previous record by more than 7 pounds. The Florida pro is currently ranked 23rd on the Bassmaster Elite Series Power Index and 55th in CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year points.

Tammy Richardson — In its inaugural year, the Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats has ignited excitement, drawing full fields of women to compete on the pro level from as far away as Japan, Canada and South Africa. Richardson, of Arkansas, won the season-opening Women's Bassmaster Tour event on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden, Ala. The 34-year-old pro finished 11th in the second event and is currently ranked second in the Toyota Women's Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year standings with three events to go.

The 2006 ESPYS will celebrate the top moments, most emotional stories and best performances of the past year in sports. The awards include 20 "Best in Sport" categories pitting athletes from different sports against each other, along with 17 individual sport categories and two sponsored awards. Recognizing individuals whose contributions transcend sports, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be presented to a group of young, female athletes who play in organized soccer leagues in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Lance Armstrong will be the first athlete to host The ESPYS when ESPN televises the 14th annual industry-wide sports celebration Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. ET.

For the third consecutive year, fans will determine the winners in all contested categories, by voting June 26 through midnight July 8 at www.espys.tv. Last year, more than 10 million votes were tabulated.

Presenters already confirmed to attend The 2006 ESPYS include: Will Ferrell, Dwyane Wade, Mariah Carey, LeBron James, Ben Stiller, Ashley Judd, Reggie Bush, Greg Kinnear, Venus Williams, Jimmy Kimmel, Kiefer Sutherland, Shaun White, Rosario Dawson, Terrell Owens, Carmen Electra and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others.


The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year's best sports stories by recognizing major achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2006 ESPYS will include both sport-specific awards such as Best MLB Player and Best WNBA Player and distinguishing "Best in Sport" awards, categories that pit different sports against each other, such as Best Team or Best Female Athlete. The ESPYS are committed to the advancement of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, established by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano and announced at the inaugural ESPYS in 1993.