By Eric Mann |
American golfer Tiger Woods and Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for September.
Woods shot an 11-under 269 to win the season-ending PGA Tour Championship tournament in Atlanta, Ga., on 23 September 2018. It was the first professional tournament win for Woods in more than five years and his 80th career PGA win.
Osaka defeated American Serena Williams in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 to win the U.S. Open and capture her first Grand Slam title in New York on 8 September 2018. It was the first Grand Slam title in history for any player from Japan.
The second place finisher on the men’s side was American football player Drew Brees and third place went to Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.
Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, set an NFL record for most pass completions in a career, breaking Brett Favre’s previous record of 6,300, in a win against the Atlanta Falcons on 23 September 2018. Brees finished the game completing 39 of 49 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for two scores. He finished the game with 6,326 career completions.
Djokovic defeated Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the U.S. Open championship in New York on 9 September 2018. Djokovic captured his 14th Grand Slam title and completed the Wimbledon-U.S. Open double for the third time in his career.
The second place finisher on the women’s side was American basketball player Breanna Stewart and third place went to Russian gymnast Dina Averina.
Stewart had a dominant September, earning both WNBA Finals MVP and Women’s Basketball World Cup MVP honors. The Seattle Storm forward scored 30 points in a 98-82 win on 13 September 2018 as the team completed a three-game sweep of the Washington Mystics in the WNBA Finals. Stewart then averaged 16.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists to lead the United States to the Women’s Basketball World Cup championship later in the month.
Averina won give gold medals and the all-around title at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 14 September 2018. It was Averina’s second consecutive title at the event as she comfortably outscored the field across the four rhythmic disciplines of hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon with a combined score of 81.450.
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 director of communications and marketing at the United States Sports Academy.