Kids’ Choice Sports Awards: Host Russell Wilson Talks Foundation, Sliming Derek Jeter and Ciara (Q&A)
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback will host the second annual awards this Thursday.
After Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson held a dance-off with the young kids of his football training camp in Los Angeles, he noted his dance moves may or may not be something to expect when he hosts the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards Thursday, July 16 at UCLA.
Wilson spent a hot Monday afternoon at the University of Southern California coaching kids (including NBA player Carmelo Anthony’s son Kiyan Anthony) ages 8-17 in football exercises as a part of his Russell Wilson Passing Camp, a dream of his since he was in the 11th grade. Wilson provides scholarships for a large percentage of the kids to attend the day-long program that took place in California, North Carolina, Illinois, British Columbia and Wisconsin, and will wrap up on Wilson’s home turf of Seattle on July 19.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Wilson on Monday during the Los Angeles camp, and the NFL star explained why hosting the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards is a great fit for him. He says he's not nervous.
Why host the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards?
I really really enjoy kids and I really love inspiring them. On Thursday night it’s going to be a blast. We’re going to have so many stars there and so many athletes. We’re starting off the show with a bang with the USA women’s team. We’re ending the show with Derek Jeter and the Legends award and in between we’ve got some dancing. Marshawn Lynch, my teammate, is coming out there too so it will be fun.
What are you looking forward to the most about the show?
Just the energy of the kids and hopefully inspiring some kids to really look up to a lot of great athletes and a lot of great people. That’s the goal. For me just enjoying the process of it all. Rehearsals and just learning from some of the best producers and directors in the world. To be there with some amazing people and amazing athletes it’s going to be a great event for the kids.
Who are you most excited to slime?
If I could slime the whole crowd I would. I probably can’t do that but I’m going to get some people. I’m going to slime Derek Jeter. He’s got to get some slime on him for the Legend Award. Who knows. I’ve got some surprises. I can’t tell you all my secrets. I’m going to be the king of slime so I have to get slimed myself. Last year when I won the newcomer award I didn’t get slimed. This year I’m looking forward to that because it’s kind of been one a life long dream for me to get slimed so it will be cool.
Michael Strahan hosted the awards show last year. As an executive producer this year, what tips has he given you on hosting?
The thing about Michael is I have always looked up to him. He is a great NFL player but a great human being. I watching him on LIVE With Kelly and Michael sometimes and also just getting to know him over the past few years. He does it so professionally. I’ve been able to talk to Michael a few times now and just get to ask him how to host it and how to do it right. He said to bring your own style and have a lot of fun and keep the kids elevated. It will be awesome.
Will you be bringing Ciara?
Ciara is going to be there. She may have a nice little appearance too. I’m excited for her.
What have you learned throughout your experiences that you want to pass down to the youth?
There’s nothing I wish I did over. I think the continual hard work and consistency is what has allowed me to be successful and the continual belief. I have no doubt in myself and no doubt in the people that I have around me. I think the most important thing that I can tell any kid or any person no matter how old or how young is to surround yourself around great people. If you want something great you have to surround yourself around greatness, people that are inspiring and people that want to motivate you
If there is one thing I think we can do better in our generation is get outside more and relate to different people and love more. I think that ultimately that’s kind of our weakness in our generation. Especially our young generation. We’re all playing video games. We’re all staying inside which is great. It increases imagination, but what it does is it takes us away from networking. It takes us away from actually physically playing the games and physically going out there and learning and experiencing it all. For me, I was always challenged. I never had it easy. I’ve never wanted it to be easy. Anything I’ve ever earned or worked for I’ve wanted to put my hardest into it. I think that’s what I can encourage kids to do.
Wilson will host the second annual Kids’ Choice Sports Awards this Thursday July 16 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. ET (tape-delayed on the west coast) from UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion.