Watch the 2022 ESPYS Best Play Nominations

Though the event will highlight everything from the best athlete in men’s and women’s sports to the best jockey and bowler, the 2022 ESPYS Best Play nominations often capture our attention due to the sheer memorability of the honored moments.

Between Megan Rapinoe’s memorable corner kick for the United States women’s national soccer team, Justin Tucker’s record-setting field goal for the Baltimore Ravens, Ja Morant’s posterizing slam for the Memphis Grizzlies well before his claims about Michael Jordan, and Hansel Emmanuel’s one-handed windmill dunk at the high school level, the 2022 nominees created some incredible memories.

And if you can’t remember how any of them went down, we’ve got you covered.

Megan Rapinoe drills the USWNT corner kick

Typically, great corner kicks place the ball in prime position for a targeted header or volley that finds the back of the net. Megan Rapinoe, though, took matters into her own hands — err, feet — for the USWNT in the first of the four 2022 ESPYS Best Play nominations.

With Carli Lloyd providing pressure on Australian keeper Teagan Micah, Rapinoe bent the corner kick so effectively that it eluded both teams’ best efforts and found the siding of the net to break a 0-0 tie in an eventual 4-3 win.

The goal helped the USWNT win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and gave her a second “Olimpico” in Olympic competition, named in honor of a 1924 goal made by Cesareo Onzari of Argentina.

Justin Tucker makes record-setting 66-yard field goal

For so long, 63 was the magic number.

Tom Dempsey made the first 63-yard field goal back in 1970 and was matched by Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011), and David Akers (2012) before Matt Prater capitalized on the thin air of the Mile High City to make a 64-yarder in 2013. Graham Gano (2018) and Brett Maher (2019) have since joined the exclusive 63-yarder club.

Still, Prater stood alone for nearly eight years before Justin Tucker stepped up for the Baltimore Ravens against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 26, 2021.

Justin Tucker celebrates the 66-yard field goal that eventually earned a 2022 ESPYS Best Play nomination
Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker celebrates after making the winning kick against the Detroit Lions | Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto

Not only did he connect from 66 yards out, but the kick was also a game-winner, giving the Ravens a 19-17 victory as time expired. Plus, he drilled it straight through the center of the uprights and, to add to the drama, had just enough distance for it to bounce off the crossbar, ricochet nearly straight up in the air, and fall through the far side of the open space.

One inch shorter, and the downtrodden Lions might have earned a fourth W in 2021.

Ja Morant creates a poster at the expense of Malik Beasley

Posterizing dunks often have a chance to rise into the ESPYS Best Play nominations, but this was a no-doubter and came at the expense of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley — and in a playoff series tied at two games apiece, no less.

Ja Morant is no stranger to defying gravity, but this jam went beyond even his lofty standards. The Memphis Grizzlies’ highlight machine basically decided to fly right over Beasley before slamming the ball home in violent fashion.

From any angle, the poster was spectacular:

Of all the nominees in 2022, Morant is the safest bet to show up again down the road.

Hansel Emmanuel throws down the windmill

Playing for Life Christian Academy in Florida, Hansel Emmanuel drained a free throw while ignoring some heckling from the sidelines and then amped up the highlight generation in this viral play.

Emmanuel was forced to amputate his left arm below the shoulder after he was trapped beneath a cinderblock wall at 6 years old, and he’s gone on to make waves as a basketball player. He has an endorsement deal with Gatorade and is a 3-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, per 247 Sports.

But he’s never burst into the collective consciousness quite like he did when he stole the ball at the top of the key, threw down a jaw-dropping windmill dunk in transition, and handed the ball to the heckler just to rub in what he’d done.

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