The United States Sports Academy has announced its Athlete of the Month ballot for April and public voting is in progress. Following the selection committee’s meeting, 12 candidates – six male and six female – from seven countries comprise the list.
Each month, the public is invited to participate in the Academy’s worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first week of every month. The online votes are used to guide the Academy selection committee in choosing the male and female monthly winners, who then become eligible for selection to the prestigious Athlete of the Year ballot. A worldwide public vote on the annual ballot is used to guide the committee in making the final selection.
Everyone is encouraged to cast a vote on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu and have friends do the same. The full ballot is listed along with bios of what each athlete accomplished during the month. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. Central time on Thursday, 11 May 2017.
Male nominees are Joel Berry II, basketball, United States; Sergio Garcia, golf, Spain; LeBron James, basketball, United States; Anthony Joshua, boxing, Great Britain; Lionel Messi, soccer, Argentina; and Eric Thames, baseball, United States.
Female nominees are Quanesha Burks, track and field, United States; Brianna Decker, hockey, United States; Valentina Greggio, speed skiing, Italy; Mary Keitany, marathon, Kenya; Haru Nomura, golf, Japan; and A’ja Wilson, basketball, United States.
The Athlete of the Year Award is part of the United States Sports Academy’s Awards of Sport program, which each year serves as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.” The Academy presents the awards to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport.
The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness, and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Medallion Series, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 33rd year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.
Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,700 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy. Reach him at email@example.com.