A strong lineup of sports celebrities will highlight the 10th anniversary season of the award-winning ESPN “My Wish” Series starting Sunday, July 17. Since its beginning in 2006, the series has fulfilled 55 sports-themed wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
This year’s series of four wishes will feature two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, MLB National League MVP Bryce Harper and the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National soccer team.
Working together with Make-A-Wish, ESPN produces feature segments on the wishes for airing on SportsCenter, with the series debuting in the 11 p.m. ET edition on Sunday, July 17. The remaining four wishes will premier in the 6 p.m. SportsCenter Monday-Thursday, July 18-21. A series compilation airs on Friday, July 22.
Chris Connelly is once again host of the series as he has been since the first season.
The five ESPN “My Wish” on SportsCenter segments for 2016 include:
- Sunday, July 17 (11 p.m. SportsCenter) – 10th Anniversary Launch: Looking back at a wish from the inaugural season of ESPN “My Wish” in 2006, 12-year-old Katie Morris fulfilled her wish to meet the Seattle Mariners, but the incredible events that followed gave her hope and inspiration in the final days of her life.
- Monday, July 18 (6 p.m.) – J. Watt: Nine-year-old Will Martinez of Houston has been battling leukemia with incredible bravery for more than three years, emulating the characteristic he says he most admires in the Houston Texans’ Watt, his favorite athlete.
- Tuesday, July 19 (6 p.m.) – Bryce Harper: Fifteen-year-old Kaylan King from Frederick, Md., will fulfill her dream of hanging out with Washington Nationals MVP outfielder Bryce Harper – thanks to the new kidney she received from her mother.
- Wednesday, July 20 (6 p.m.) – S. Women’s National Soccer Team: A brain malformation which required surgery isn’t enough to deter 13–year-old Mackenzie Toman of Davison, Mich., from playing the game she loves and fulfilling her wish to kick it with the US Women’s National Soccer Team.
- Thursday, July 21 (6 p.m.) – Steph Curry: the story of 14-year-old Ashley Wagner, who recently battled leukemia, and the wish she shares with her twin brother that brings the duo from their home in Sherrills Ford, N.C., to Oakland to spend two days with the two-time NBA MVP of the Golden State Warriors.
All features will re-air multiple times on other editions of SportsCenter and are available via WatchESPN. In addition, this year’s “My Wish” segments can be accessed (along with more than 15 past segments) on demand through set top boxes of most major cable and satellite affiliates. A special 10th anniversary landing page on ESPN.com will include television features from all seasons and some vignettes, an essay by Connelly and three related features by senior writer Elizabeth Merrill that will roll out during the course of the week.
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, including ESPN, has supported Make-A-Wish for three decades.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s largest wish-granting organization, serving children in nearly 50 countries on five continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 32,000 volunteers worldwide, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the world every 21 minutes on average. Since 1980, it has granted more than 350,000 wishes to children around the world. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit wish.org and for more information about Make-A-Wish International, visit worldwish.org.
Media contact: Andy Hall, [email protected]