The 2008 ESPY Awards will be hosted by Justin Timberlake, who will be joined on stage by the world's premier athletes and Hollywood's biggest stars. Presenters include Lance Armstrong, David Beckham, Brendan Fraser, Samuel L. Jackson, David Ortiz and more. The awards will air on ESPN and ESPNHD at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 20.
"This just goes to prove that anything is possible if you work hard enough," said Scholz when he learned of the nomination. "When I came to Loyola, I just wanted to swim. I've been blown away. Competing at this level is dream come true for me."
Scholz, who will be swimming for Team USA at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, China, adjusted remarkably well to college life his freshman year at Loyola. In just one season under Head Coach Brian Loeffler, Scholz set American Records in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 800-meter freestyle, 1500-meter freestyle, 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly, 500-yard freestyle, 1000-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle events.
At the Paralympic Trials in April, Scholz registered a memorable performance, winning gold in all four of his events. He became one of 38 swimmers to make the Paralympics squad and will compete in the 50 Free, 100 Free, 400 Free, 100 Fly and 100 Back events at the Summer Games in August.
Only four nominees made the ballot for Best Male Athlete With Disability and they include Phil Scholz, Matt Scott, Marthell Vazquez and Ryan Kocer.
"It is such a honor for Philip to be nominated for an ESPY with so many other world class athletes," says Loyola Coach Brian Loeffler. "Over the years, ESPN has done a great job recognizing athletes with disabilities. I am sure Philip is happy to carry the torch for the many disabled athletes from across the country."