The Thomas family of Parkersburg will receive the 2010 Arthur Ashe Courage award during tonight’s ESPY awards show on ESPN. Longtime Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas was shot and killed by one of his former players a little over a year ago. Parkersburg resident Sandy Cox says Thomas’s widow and her two sons comforted those who were grieving instead of the other way around.

Cox says the family wrapped their arms around the community and led them through the hardest part of their life. She says they showed courage and how to forgive and they are still doing it today.

Mark Becker was convicted of first degree murder in March and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The University of Northern Iowa basketball team is one of four nominees for the “Best Upset” award at tonight’s ESPY awards on ESPN. The Panthers stunned top ranked Kansas 69-67 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City. U.N.I. AD Troy Dannen says head coach Ben Jacobsen, guard Ali Farokmanesh and center Jordan Egleseder have been invited to attend the event in Los Angeles.

Dannen says it is a great opportunity for the school, and another chance for them to have some national attention.

The winner is determined by an on-line poll.