2010 October

Missouri’s Upset of No. 1 Oklahoma is College Football Game of the Week

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Missouri’s defense not only slowed down Oklahoma in the first half, but stopped them completely in the second during the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.

The Tigers stopped the BCS No. 1 team from scoring in three trips to the red zone (inside the opposing 20-yard line), then held Oklahoma to 101 yards in the second half of a 36-27 victory, their first over the Sooners since 1998. Missouri forced three turnovers, which was a season high for the Sooners.

Meanwhile, the Missouri offense came to life with the help of Jerrell Jackson’s 139 yards on nine catches and a near-perfect fourth quarter for quarterback Blaine Gabbert (8-for-9, 95 yards). The Tigers, trailing by one after three quarters, bounced back with 16 straight points.

The College Football Game of the Week, voted upon by a national panel of experts, is nominated for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Sport Artist of the Year Award Presented to Missouri Sculptor

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Harry Weber (left) receives the 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award from Trustee Jack Scharr

Harry Weber (left) receives the 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award from Trustee Jack Scharr

Harry Weber was presented with the 2011 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Award by United States Sports Academy Trustee Jack Scharr at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Mo. on Friday, 22 October.

Weber, a man who has had a busy decade decorating the country with bronze statues, was one of the featured guests at a gala celebrating the anniversary of the art centre, located in the St. Louis suburbs. The presenter, Scharr, is the president of Fine Art Ltd. and the Academy Trustees’ Chairman of ASAMA.

The 21st century has been a busy time for Weber. Thirty-six out of 44 of his most noted works have been displayed at major venues over the last decade. This includes 10 statues displayed at the St. Louis Cardinals’ newest version of the Busch Stadium. The subject of one of those statues, former Cardinal player Ozzie Smith, was also a featured guest at the gala.

From left: Gary Shaw, President of the Foundry Arts Center; Greg Marasec, President of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame; Ozzie Smith, Hall of Fame Inductee and Former St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball Player; Harry Weber, 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor; and Jack Scharr, Board of Trustees’ Chairman to ASAMA.

From left: Gary Shaw, President of the Foundry Arts Center; Greg Marasec, President of the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame; Ozzie Smith, Hall of Fame Inductee and Former St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball Player; Harry Weber, 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor; and Jack Scharr, Board of Trustees’ Chairman to ASAMA.

Weber’s sculptures are in a permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. and are featured at the Museum of Fine Arts in Newport, R.I. Weber has won major awards at national juried competitions, and his bronze sculptures are in many private collections throughout the world.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipient may use a variety of art media to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs.

Academy Celebrates Toys for Tots Kickoff, Marine Birthday with Art Exhibit

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The United States Sports Academy will honor the 235th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps while kicking off its annual campaign as a major drop-off point for Toys for Tots with an art exhibition and reception at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, 10 November.

The Marines will recognize the Academy as one of the largest Toys for Tots collection sites in the region. Meanwhile, 2011 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor Harry Weber will recognize servicemen’s contribution to freedom with a series of sketches titled “A Warriors Sketchbook.” He will also present the Academy with a bronze statue of a wounded Vietnam soldier holding up an American flag, titled “Wounded Warrior.”

The Academy, which has been supporting Toys for Tots for nearly two decades, will charge one new, unwrapped toy as admission. The event will take place in the main gallery of ASAMA, which is part of the Academy campus. The toys will be presented to Marines from the Third Force Recon/Fourth Marine Division of Mobile. These marines have rotated in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs.

The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Denver Broncos' Tebow Youngest to Win Academy’s Humanitarian Award

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Tim Tebow

Denver Broncos’ rookie quarterback Tim Tebow was presented with the Academy’s 2009 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award on Tuesday, 12 October, in Denver by Academy Trustee Emerita Dr. Evie Dennis.

Tebow is the youngest winner in the history of the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award. Prior to being drafted in the first round by the Broncos, he started for three years for the University of Florida Gators, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and national championship in 2008. His on- and off-the-field actions as a college player received praise from coaches all over the nation.

“Football. Athleticism. Leadership. Charity work. His faith. You name it. I’ve never seen anybody who had all that in one package,” said former Georgia head football coach and Athletic Director Vince Dooley.

Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose team ended the Gators’ 22-game winning streak and their reign as national champions during the 2009 Southeastern Conference championship game, said following the contest that he used Tebow’s character as an example of how he wanted his players to conduct themselves.

Raised in a family with missionaries as parents, Tebow has followed in their footsteps. He frequently participates in overseas missions to countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Croatia. He speaks to and prays with prison inmates and has visited orphanages and leper colonies and volunteers at hospitals.

The presenter, Dr. Dennis, is a former vice president of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and superintendent of Denver Public Schools. She was the first woman to serve as a chef de mission for the USOC in the 1988 South Korean Summer Olympics. As an educator, Dr. Dennis was an active advocate of gender equity in athletics and monitored the U.S. District Court order to desegregate Denver Public Schools.

The Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind. The winner should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke the baseball color barrier by displaying his skills while at the same time subjugating his pride, to prove an awareness of our failings as well as his abilities. Had he lacked the discipline, not to mention the dedication, America and sport would be spiritually and athletically poorer.

Gamecocks' Historic Win is Academy's College Football Game of the Week

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Alabama vs. Gamecocks 2010
Alabama vs. Gamecocks 2010
Alabama vs. Gamecocks 2010
Alabama vs. Gamecocks 2010

All images courtesy of South Carolina Athletics

No. 19 South Carolina defeated No. 1 Alabama in the program’s first-ever victory over a No. 1-ranked team in the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Week.

In a 35-21 victory at Columbia, S.C., the Gamecocks defense held Alabama’s powerhouse backfield of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson to 64 yards and sacked quarterback Greg McElroy seven times. The defending national champion Crimson Tide had come in on a 19-game win streak.

The College Football Game of the Week, voted upon by a national panel of experts, is nominated for the College Football Game of the Year at the end of the regular season.

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy donates the painting to the winning university, along with $5,000 for its general scholarship fund.

I think that this game was meant to be. I used a line that I’ve never used in my life, but since our basketball team had beat the No. 1 (team) and our baseball team had done it, I said, ‘Fellas, if fate means for us to win this game Saturday then lets give it a chance. Lets give fate a chance to happen.’ Our guys played their hearts out, a lot of outstanding individual plays and we held on and got a few breaks here and there. That is the best our offense has played ever since I’ve been here without a doubt. We scored five touchdowns out of about eight real possessions. Stephen Garcia played the best he’s ever played. Alshon (Jeffery) is something else; all the guys were very good. I think it was just meant to be. Fate was on our side for us to beat the No. 1 in all three major sports in 2010. I’m very proud of them, proud of the offensive line, they played well, very well for our team, it was a super team effort.
– South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Tennis Stars Shine in September Athlete of the Month Voting

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Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

U.S. Open singles tennis champions Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters were named Male and Female Athlete of the Month for September by the United States Sports Academy.

At age 24 Nadal, the three-time Athlete of the Month selection for 2010, has nine grand slam titles, more than halfway to Roger Federer’s 16 trophies. The Spaniard’s ninth title came when he beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in the finals of the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y.

Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters, from Belgium, won her second consecutive and third career U.S. Open title by defeating Vera Zvonareva in 59 minutes, 6-2, 6-1, in the finals.

NBA star Kevin Durant finished second to Nadal in the male balloting. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward scored 38 in the quarterfinals, 33 in the semifinals and 28 in the finals to earn MVP honors in the World Basketball Championships.

Finishing second to Clijsters was Amelie Caze of France. Caze won her third world pentathlon championship in China when she easily beat Donata Rimsaite of Lithuania, who placed second, and Olympic Champion Lena Schoneborn of Germany.

The third-place finisher on the male ballot was distance runner Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya. The 22-year-old clocked a world-record 26:44 in the 10 kilometers at the ABN AMRO Singel loop in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Australian basketball player Lauren Jackson finished third on the women’s side after the Seattle Storm’s forward/center became the fourth player to win the WNBA MVP and Finals MVP in the same season. She finished 4th in the league in scoring, 6th in rebounds and 5th in blocks.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and submit your vote, and return to the website the first week of each month to vote on the Athlete of the Month. Winners will be announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of the Academy Update.

Academy Supports 2010 Toys for Tots Campaign

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The Christmas tree in the Academy’s Main Lobby overflowed with donations for the Toys for Tots campaign in 2009.

The Christmas tree in the Academy’s Main Lobby overflowed with donations for the Toys for Tots campaign in 2009.

The United States Sports Academy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation are teaming up for the 16th consecutive year to help underprivileged children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties enjoy a memorable Christmas.

Long considered the region’s largest collection center for the Toys for Tots program, local residents may bring donations to the Academy from 1 November – 10 December each Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Academy encourages individuals, schools, clubs, associations, and businesses in the area to drop off their new, unwrapped toys to help assist those who need it most this time of year.

The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Since the inception of Toys for Tots, more than 400 million toys have been distributed to more than 188 million needy children.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the concept and made it a national endeavor.

If you do not live in Baldwin or Mobile Counties, visit the Toys for Tots website to find a drop location in your area or to make a cash donation.

Baseball Star Albert Pujols Wins 2010 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award

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Harry Weber

Albert Pujols will be recognized for his service to people with Down Syndrome, and impoverished people in his native Dominican Republic, with the United States Sports Academy’s 2010 Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award.

Jack Scharr, the Academy’s Board of Trustees Chairman of the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), will present the award at the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Tuesday, 16 November.

Pujols’ accomplishments in baseball are well known. He is a three-time National League Most Valuable Player and a two-time Major League Baseball Player of the Year. He and his wife, Deidra, whose daughter has Down Syndrome, formed the Pujols Family Foundation (PFF) five years ago, to benefit people with Down syndrome, disabilities, and/or life threatening illnesses, as well as children and families living in impoverished conditions in the Dominican Republic.

Raising a child with Down Syndrome had given the Pujols family an understanding of what families in the same situation want and need, therefore the foundation supports a variety of programs to meet these needs.

This past month, nearly the entire Cardinal active roster took time off from a pennant race with the Cincinnati Reds to attend the Country Club of St. Albans near St. Louis for the Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Classic, to raise money for and bring awareness to Foundation projects in the Dominican community of Batey Aleman. The main project, “Batey Baseball,” involves forming a baseball league in the community. Cardinal manager Tony LaRussa, his entire staff, Shaquille O’Neal, Bo Jackson, Bobby Knight and hockey player Barret Jacksman also attended.

Representatives of the foundation went on a fact-finding mission to Batey in February to launch the Batey Baseball and “Nest” initiative. Nest is an organization that makes micro-business loans to women in developing countries to create vocational skills and make products for the U.S. market.

The Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award is part of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program, honoring “the artist and the athlete.” It is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a concern for mankind. This individual should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform. Recent winners include 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, New York Jets running back LaDamian Tomlinson, Tiger Woods, and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo.

Harry Weber Named 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor

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Harry Weber

Harry Weber, a man who has had a busy decade decorating the country with bronze statues of athletes and historical figures, has been named the American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ (ASAMA) 2011 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor.

Jack Scharr, the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees Chairman of ASAMA, will present the award to Weber at a gala honoring sport art at 6 p.m. on Friday, 22 October at the Foundry Art Centre in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles, Mo.

The 21st century has been a busy time for Weber. Thirty-six of his 44 most noted works have been displayed at major venues within the last 10 years. This includes 10 statues displayed at the St. Louis Cardinals’ newest version of the Busch Stadium.

Weber’s sculptures are in a permanent collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. and are featured at the Museum of Fine Arts in Newport, R.I. Weber has won major awards at national juried competitions, and his bronze sculptures are in many private collections throughout the world.

Weber’s 20-inch bronze statues of Larry Bird and former WNBA player Jackie Stiles are used for the trophies given to the men’s and women’s basketball Most Valuable Players of the Missouri Valley Conference.

His list of sports work is lengthy, but he has also been commissioned to create statues of historical figures. “Late May, 1805” is a diorama of the Lewis and Clark expedition involving many life-size bronze sculptures, a 60-foot mural, and a 12-foot waterfall. The diorama was installed inside the lobby of the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Louis, and has been designated a National Lewis and Clark site by the Federal Parks Department.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who captures the spirit and life of sport so that future generations can relive the drama of today’s competition. The recipient may use a variety of art media to depict the breadth and scope of both the agony and the ecstasy of sport.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA, a division of the United States Sports Academy, is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,500 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, and photographs.

The museum is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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