Kayla Burt, the University of Washington basketball player who survived a near-death experience on New Year's Eve 2002, and returned to...

Kayla Burt, the University of Washington basketball player who survived a near-death experience on New Year’s Eve 2002, and returned to lead the Huskies in scoring last season, has been nominated by ESPN for one of the cable network’s ESPY awards in the comeback-player category.


“It’s true,” Burt’s mother Teri said yesterday. “We actually just got home from vacation. Kayla got the call when we were in Hawaii.”


The awards show, attracting some of the biggest names in sports, will take place July 17 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.


Burt, who will be a senior at UW next season, averaged 9.6 points to lead the team and 3.6 rebounds in 2004-05.


Burt collapsed in her bedroom in the final hours of 2002 and was revived by teammates after her heart stopped. She was diagnosed with a condition called Long Q-T Syndrome that can cause accelerated heart rhythm, loss of consciousness and sudden cardiac death in young adults.


Burt announced the end of her college career at a news conference in early 2003. But last August, after having a defibrillator implanted in her chest, she made the decision to resume playing for the Huskies. That came after extensive tests, including two at the Mayo Clinic, that indicated the original diagnosis of Long Q-T Syndrome probably was incorrect.


Burt’s parents signed a medical-release waiver assuming all risks for her playing basketball with her unknown heart condition.