Former Notre Dame Women’s Basketball player and Iraq War Veteran Danielle Green received the Pat Tillman Award for Service during the 2015 ESPYS Awards. Green earned the award through her perseverance in the face of adversity and selfless commitment to the United States, according to ESPN.
Green was one of the first Military women to be injured in Iraq in March 2004, according to ESPN. A rocket-propelled grenade explosion would cause Green to lose her dominant lower left arm, according to the Military Times.
Despite relearning how to execute everyday actions with her right hand, she went back to school to earn her masters in counseling. Green currently is a readjustment therapist at the South Bend Veterans Center in Indiana, according to the Military Times. She works with post-war veterans and their families, according to ESPN.
“I think a lot of times when veterans looks at me, they’re like ‘what’s wrong with her?’ But when I tell them that I am a combat veteran, it’s like ‘you’re one of us,’” said Green in her ESPYS award presentation video. “My mission is to help this next generation to advocate for them, to fight for them. I just have a calling to serve.”
In 1995, Green attended her dream school, the University of Notre Dame, with a scholarship, according to NDInsider.com. In her sophomore year, Green tore her Achilles tendon and missed the entire season. The next year, she helped the Fighting Irish make it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, according to Notre Dame Athletics.
As a senior, Green was the team’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder with 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds, according to Notre Dame Athletics.
Green’s commitment to serving others and connection athleticism echoes the legacy of Pat Tillman, a former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger, according to ESPN. Tillman left the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the army. After receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage in 2003, Tillman was killed in 2004, according to ESPN.
“It is important to everyone associated with the show that we continue to support the service and sacrifice of the nation’s veterans,” said Maura Mandt, executive producer of ESPN. “Danielle Green represents the very best in the men and women who serve in our armed forces today as well as all those who have ever worn the uniform. It is a privilege for us to be able to present this award to Danielle, in conjunction with the Pat Tillman Foundation.”