(November 29, 2017, NEW YORK, NY) – Maya Moore of the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Carlos Beltran of the World Series-winning Houston Astros will be among the athletes honored at this year’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Sportsperson of the Year Awards taking place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on December 5. The show will be televised for the first time, airing on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on December 8 and on Univision Deportes Network at 8 p.m. ET on December 9.
Embiid will accept the Rising Star award, while Moore will win a new award, Performer of the Year, and Beltran will accept the Hope Award, which honors athletes who continue to give back to their home communities as they find success across the globe. All three will be featured in SI’s upcoming Sportsperson of the Year issue and will be honored alongside other top names in sports including SI’s 2017 Sportsperson of the Year winner, Muhammad Ali Legacy Award recipient and more.
“There are so many great athletes making a difference for their team and for their communities, and recognizing success in both arenas is important to us at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED,” said Steve Cannella, Executive Editor of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. “Joel, Maya, and Carlos embody the best of these qualities and we are excited to honor them at this year’s SI Sportsperson of the Year Awards show.”
The 2017 winners of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S Rising Star, Performer of the Year and Hope Award were selected for the following reasons:
Performer of the Year: Maya Moore
The WNBA star not only led the Minnesota Lynx to the 2017 league title, but over the last eight years, dating back her celebrated career at UConn, Moore has also been a key player on more than a dozen teams that have won championships, ranging from the NCAA to the WNBA to Olympic gold medals, to professional leagues around the globe. She’s added on a slew of individual awards as well, and done it all with an eye toward activism and the fight for social justice.
Rising Star: Joel Embiid
SI recognizes the champions of tomorrow by spotlighting the best up-and-coming athletes of today—and no one has a brighter future than the 23-year-old 76ers star. As the centerpiece of Philadelphia’s rebuilding plan, The Process has led the resurgent franchise to a winning record so far this season and is already one of the league’s best players and most entertaining personalities.
Hope Award: Carlos Beltran
A common thread runs through every athlete’s story: the power and pull of home. In 2017, dozens of athletes from Puerto Rico who have found success around the globe rallied to help their home island as it began to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. He has raised nearly $1.5 million to help the recovery effort and has been an outspoken advocate to raise awareness of the plight of Puerto Rico, demonstrating the power of the athlete’s platform to deliver hope in times of need.
The telecast is being produced by Time Inc. Productions, the company’s television production division, which has tapped JASH, a Group Nine company, to co-produce. Highly regarded producers Robert Morton and Daniel Kellison will serve as executive producers. Executive producers from Time Inc. are Steve Cannella, Ian Orefice and Josh Oshinsky.
NBCSN will air an encore presentation of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Sunday, December 10 at 10 p.m. ET and Tuesday, December 12 at 11:30 p.m. ET.