ESPY Nomination Day was just another relaxing afternoon at home for Steve Serio. A friend’s text broke the news to Serio that he had in fact been nominated for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. The three-time Paralympian, also a two- time medalist, with his latest hardware being Gold from the Rio Paralympic Games. As co-captain of the U.S. team he scored 42 points in the last three games, while also having 23 rebounds and 30 assists, but he will humbly note, “My statistics aren't impressive at all, it was a team effort and a team victory.”
Even more humbly, Serio mentions being nominated for this award is no reflection of him as a player but of his team and the entire basketball community. As both Olympic and Paralympic basketball teams won gold for United States. Serio thinks his nomination is proving that the sport is evolving in all aspects and even more so with wheelchair basketball, people are becoming bigger fans and knowing more about the sport, it’s history, success and future on U.S. soil.
Serio is nominated in this category alongside Will Groulx, Mike Minor, Brad Snyder and Roderick Townsend. Of the four incredible Paralympic athletes Serio knows Groulx who in fact was a former rugby player turned hand cyclist. As well as Snyder whom Serio cheered on in the Games as he won three gold medals and a silver in Rio in Swimming. He is looking forward to reconnecting with all of the guys in his category at the show. Serio notes how respectable all four athletes are but cordially jokes to the fans, “Do your best and vote for me, it is not a vote just for me but a vote for our sport and for the future of our sport to get on the map.”
Serio plans on brining his younger brother as his guest to the ESPY Awards which air on ABC, Wednesday July 12. He claims they haven't gotten to do a lot since Serio moved away from home five years ago. He adds his brother is a huge sports fan and hopes to meet New York Giants superstar Odell Beckham. “If he is at the show we will do whatever it takes to get a picture with him, that would just be awesome,” commented Serio.
As far as red carpet attire goes, he has yet to figure out his outfit for the evening but mentions teammate and former ESPY nominee and four-time U.S. Paralympian Matt Scott has been giving him lots of style tips. “Matt has been telling me all the things I need to do to get ready. He has been to the ESPY Awards before and has been helping me figure out what to wear and giving me some tips since he knows what he’s doing. It’s something I need to figure out when I get home so I have a swag outfit,” mentioned Serio.
If Serio does win the ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability, he has a few people he wants to thank. First and foremost, his family who have helped him with traveling and all his success the last 10 years of his career. Serio is very close with his family and hopes if he does win the award it means something more to them. He also of course wants to thank all of his teammates and wants to know this award isn't for him personally but for all the success of each and every member in Rio. “All my successes are going to them,” stated Serio.
July 12 will be a big night for the Sports World but more importantly for three time Paralympian Steve Serio and all of the wheelchair basketball community world-wide. There is still time to vote for Serio at ESPN.com under his specific category. It will be an awesome night hosted by NFL star Peyton Manning. Be sure to tune in to ABC July 12 at 7 PM central. Congrats to Serio once again and the rest of the U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball team and good luck!