DAPHNE, Ala. – Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and American triathlete Katie Zaferes have been named the United States Sports Academy’s Male and Female Athletes of the Month for June.
Scherzer completed one of the best pitching months in Major League Baseball history after finishing June with a 6-0 record, 1.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts. He is only the fourth pitcher in the live ball era (post-1920) with an ERA of 1.00 or lower and at least 68 strikeouts in a month, joining Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson on the list.
Zaferes won her fourth race in five International Triathlon Union (ITU) events this season on 29 June 2019 in Montreal. Zaferes – the top-ranked woman in 2019 – won the Montreal race of a 750-meter swim, 20 kilometer bike race, and 5 kilometer run in 58:15.
The second-place finisher on the men’s side was NBA star Kawhi Leonard and third place went to collegiate track and field athlete Grant Holloway.
Leonard was named the 2019 NBA Finals MVP after averaging 28.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals in the Toronto Raptors’ 4-2 series win against Golden State in June. Leonard led the Raptors in points, rebounds, steals, and player efficiency rating during the finals title series.
Competing for the University of Florida, Holloway broke two collegiate records at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Texas in June. Holloway became the first college athlete to finish the 110-meter hurdles in under 13 seconds at 12.98, breaking a 40-year collegiate record. He also ran for the Florida 4x100 meter relay team that finished in 37.97, breaking another collegiate record. Holloway was also the anchor on Florida’s second place 4x400 meter relay team.
The second-place finisher on the women’s side was American soccer player Megan Rapinoe and third place went to American track and field athlete Sha’Carri Richardson.
Rapinoe scored four goals in two wins for the United States in the FIFA Women’s World Cup knockout rounds in France in June. Rapinoe scored every goal for the U.S. in 2-1 wins over Spain and France. She is the first player with two goals in consecutive knockout rounds in World Cup matches and the first U.S. woman to score four consecutive goals in a World Cup.
Competing for Louisiana State University (LSU), Richardson broke a 30-year collegiate record in the 100-meter dash, running a 10.75, at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Texas in June. Richardson also placed second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.17 and ran the anchor leg on LSU’s 4x100 meter relay team that placed second.
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 ASAMA.org.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit USSA.edu.
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