Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and American golfer Lexi Thompson have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for May.
Curry averaged 28.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists as the Warriors raced to an unbeaten record in the NBA postseason in May. Curry’s play helped the Warriors capture a perfect 12-0 record in the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs. Golden State eventually won the NBA Finals series against the Cleveland Cavaliers in June.
Thompson shot a tournament record 20-under-par 264 to capture the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., on 21 May 2017. She shot a 6-under-par 65 in the final round to win the tournament. It was Thompson’s eighth career LPGA title.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers and third place went to Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge.
McCullers was named Major League Baseball’s American League Pitcher of the Month for May after finishing the month with a 4-0 record, 0.99 ERA, 0.85 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) and 37 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. The Astros pitcher won five of his six starts and opponents had just a .164 batting average against him in the month. He threw 22 consecutive scoreless innings between 6-23 May.
Kipchoge ran a marathon with an unofficial world record time of 2:00:25, more than two and a half minutes faster than the previous record, in Nike’s Breaking2 event on 6 May 2017 in Monza, Italy. Kipchoge’s time is unofficial because of rules regarding pace setting.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American track and field athlete Gwen Berry and third place went to American basketball player Sylvia Fowles.
Berry broke the American record in the women’s hammer throw on 6 May 2017 with a throw of 76.77 meters (251 feet, 10 inches) at the Ole Miss Classic in Oxford, Miss. Not only did Berry’s throw break the American record, it was also the top throw in the world this year.
Fowles was named the WNBA Player of the Month for May in the Western Conference. Fowles averaged 20 points and 2.3 blocks and recorded four double-doubles in six games for the Lynx in May. She leads the Western Conference in field goal percentage with 61.1 percent and rebounds with 10.7 per game.
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.
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, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, and Alumni of the Year awards. This is the 33rd year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program.
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.
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.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.
By Eric Mann
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy.