By Eric Mann |
American golfer Brooks Koepka and softball player Meghan King have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for June.
Koepka became the first player in 29 years to repeat as U.S. Open champion with a win in the tournament at Shinnecock Hills in Long Island, N.Y., on 17 June 2018. Koepka shot a 1-over-par 281 to win the title.
King was dominant pitching for Florida State as the Seminoles won the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in June 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. King set a WCWS record for lowest ERA among pitchers with at least 10 innings at .20, earned four wins and a save, and gave up just one earned run in 34 1/3 innings of work.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was English soccer player Harry Kane and third place went to American basketball player Kevin Durant.
Kane recorded a hat-trick – three goals – in a 6-1 win for England against Panama in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on 24 June 2018. Kane led all World Cup scorers in the Group Phase with five goals.
Golden State’s Durant won his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP honor after averaging a double-double – 28.8 points and 10.8 rebounds – in the Warriors’ four-game sweep against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is the eleventh player in NBA history to win Finals MVP honors twice in a career.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was Romanian tennis player Simona Halep and third place went to American runner Shelby Houlihan.
Romania’s Halep defeated American Sloane Stephens 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the French Open on 9 June 2018. It was the first Grand Slam title for Halep, the world’s top-ranked female player.
Houlihan became just the second woman in history to win both the 5,000-meter and 1,500-meter races in the USA Track and Field (USATF) Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on 24 June 2018. She was also the only athlete to win two events at nationals and is the only woman to win both races in the same year since Regina Jacobs in 2000.
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.
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy.