When Tyler Hilinski passed away in January of 2018 his parents Mark and Kym set out to create an organization that would raise mental health awareness for student-athletes. The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation has raised more than half a million dollars towards creating mental wellness programs for student-athletes across the country and on Sunday evening it was announced by ESPN that Hilinski’s Hope was one of the recipients of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award.
After their son Tyler tragically took his own life, Mark and Kym Hilinski created Hilinski's Hope Foundation to honor their son and raise awareness around mental health.@HilinskisHope is the recipient of The Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award, presented by UFC. pic.twitter.com/9As1wzjvg2— ESPYS (@ESPYS) June 14, 2020
The award was created in honor of former ESPN anchor Stuart Scott who battled cancer until his passing in 2015. According to ESPN, the award “celebrates people that have taken risk and used an innovative approach to helping the disadvantaged through the power of sports.” It goes on to say that those who are given the award will “personify the ethos of fairness, ethics, respect, and fellowship with others.”
Tyler’s brother, Ryan is currently the quarterback of the South Carolina Gamecocks where he started 11 games last season and threw for 2,357 yards with 11 touchdowns. He wears the same #3 that Tyler wore for the Cougars. His parents moved to South Carolina with Ryan where the Gamecock fanbase has embodied what the Hilinski’s have set out to do including raising three fingers at the start of the third quarter of every home game. Other schools in the SEC have joined in on the new tradition in Columbia and raise three fingers in the third quarter during their own home games.
Hilinski’s Hope joins the likes of Tyler Trent, David Robinson, Billie Jean King, the “Like A Girl” campaign, and Pete Carroll and many others to be given the award since its creation.
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Mark and Kym Hilinski, who created a foundation in the name of their son to raise mental health awareness, have been honored with one of three Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Awards, ESPN announced Sunday.