Former BU All-American Captain and current Rangers prospect Matt Gilroy has been nominated for the 2009 ESPY Award for Best Male College Athlete. The Long Island native lifted BU to the 2009 National Championship, winning the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top college ice-hockey player along the way. On April 17th, just 6 days after winning the title, Gilroy signed a 2-year $3.5 million contract with the Rangers. His fellow nominees include Sam Bradford of Oklahoma (football), Blake Griffin of Oklahoma (basketball), Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State (baseball), and Tim Tebow of Florida (football).
That’s some incredibly elite company for a college hockey player, a student-athlete who doesn’t get any attention whatsoever. When you consider that Bradford won the Heisman, Griffin will be the #1 pick in the NBA draft tonight, Strasburg was the #1 pick in the MLB draft and is “one of the greatest pitching prospects ever”, and Tebow has been baptized Superman and all that is holy by half the press, its a pretty impressive feat. Say what you want about the ESPYs (i.e. total popularity contest), but its one of the few events that bridges sports, whether its high school, college, pro, olympic, extreme…whatever. So to be included in one of the categories is a pretty nice honor. Chances of him winning are basically zero, due to the reasons previously stated, but a special honor nonetheless.