New Orleans forward DeMarcus Cousins and Grambling State University guard Shakyla Hill have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for January.
Cousins became the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972 to record a 40-20-10 triple-double in an NBA game after collecting 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists, four steals and one block in a 132-128 win for the Pelicans against the Chicago Bulls on 22 January 2018.
Hill collected the first quadruple-double in women’s Division 1 basketball in 25 years in a 93-71 win over Alabama State on 3 January 2018. A junior guard, Hill finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in the win.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was Swiss tennis star Roger Federer and third place went to American sprinter Christian Coleman.
Federer won his 20th career Grand Slam final with a five-set win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the Australian Open final in Melbourne on 28 January 2018. Federer won 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
Coleman set an indoor world record in the 60 meters with a time of 6.37 seconds at the Clemson Invitational in South Carolina on 19 January 2018. The record took .02 seconds off the previous world mark set in 1998 by Maurice Greene.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and third place went to American golfer Brittany Lincicome.
Wozniacki won her first Grand Slam title with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 victory against Simona Halep in the Australian Open women’s singles final in Melbourne on 27 January 2018. With the win, Wozniacki replaced Halep as the world’s top-ranked women’s player.
Lincicome opened the LPGA season by winning her second consecutive Bahamas LPGA Classic title on 28 January 2018 at Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Lincicome shot a 12-under-par 207 to win the tournament.
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 34th 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 1,800 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.