June 2017 Athlete of the Month Ballot

Male

1. Sidney Crosby, hockey, Canada
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player of the playoffs as the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators 2-0 on 11 June 2017 to win the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive season. It was Crosby’s second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy. Crosby, a native of Canada, registered 19 assists and 27 total points in 24 postseason games for the Penguins.

2. Kevin Durant, basketball, United States
Golden State’s Kevin Durant was named the MVP of the NBA Finals series after scoring a team-high 39 points in the Warriors’ 129-120 series-clinching win against Cleveland on 12 June 2017. Durant scored at least 30 points in each of the series’ five games, averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. He also shot 55.5 percent from the field and made 47.4 percent of his three-pointers.

3. Brooks Koepka, golf, United States
American golfer Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open on 18 June 2017 at Erin Hills, Wisc. Koepka finished with a 16-under-par 272, tying the U.S. Open scoring record in relation to par set by Rory McIlroy in 2011. Koepka also hit more greens in regulation – 86 percent – than anyone in the field.

4. Rafael Nadal, tennis, Spain
Spain’s Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open title by defeating Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in straight sets in the championship round on 11 June 2017 in Paris. Nadal has now won 15 Grand Slam titles, which puts him in second place all time behind Roger Federer’s 18.

5. Wayde Van Niekerk, track and field, South Africa
South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk decimated the field in the 300 meter dash with a world record time of 30.81 at the Golden Spike Meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 28 June 2017. His time beat Usain Bolt’s previous meet record of 30.97 and Michael Johnson’s world record of 30.85, which had stood in the rarely-run distance since 2000.

6. Edinson Volquez, baseball, Dominican Republic
Miami Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez of the Dominican Republic threw a no-hitter to lead the Marlins to a 3-0 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on 3 June 2017. Volquez faced the minimum 27 batters – two reached on walks but were called out on double plays – and struck out 10 hitters in the win. He needed just 98 pitches to complete the no-hitter.

Female

1. Sam Kerr, soccer, Australia
Sky Blue Football Club (New Jersey) forward Sam Kerr of Australia was named the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Media Association Player of the Week after she recorded two goals and an assist in a win against the Portland Thorns on 17 June 2017. She also collected NWSL Player of the Month honors for the second consecutive month after scoring three goals, one assist, eight scoring opportunities and eight shots on goal in June. Her 30 career regular season goals are a team record and rank third all-time in the NWSL.

2. Shay Knighten, softball, United States
University of Oklahoma sophomore Shay Knighten was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Women’s College World Series after hitting .350 with seven hits, four runs, two doubles, one home run and eight RBIs for the Sooners, who defeated the University of Florida in a best-of-three series to win the championship. Knighten’s three-run double put the Sooners up for good in the final game of the series, which Oklahoma won 5-4 on 6 June 2017.

3. Katie Ledecky, swimming, United States
American swimmer Katie Ledecky won the national title in the 800 meter freestyle race at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., on 27 June 2017. Ledecky won the race in 8:11.50, the fastest time in the world in the event this year. She also won the 200 meter race with a time of 1:54.84, the fastest time in the world this year, and won the 400 with a time of 3:58.44, the third-fastest time ever.

4. Dalilah Muhammad, track and field, United States
American athlete Dalilah Muhammad won the women’s 400 meter hurdles race at the USA Championships on 25 June 2017 in Sacramento, Calif., with a blazing time of 52.64. The time was faster than Muhammad’s Rio 2016 Olympics gold medal winning time of 53.13 in the same event.

5. Jelena Ostapenko, tennis, Latvia
Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko won the French Open women’s title on 10 June 2017 by defeating Romania’s Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in Paris. Ostapenko was the first unseeded player to win the French Open in 84 years and also became the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam title.

6. Diana Taurasi, basketball, United States
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi broke the WNBA all-time scoring record when she recorded 19 points against the Los Angeles Sparks on 18 June 2017. Taurasi’s 7,494 career points surpassed Tina Thompson’s 7,488. Taurasi reached the mark in just 13 seasons, while Thompson’s record had been set in 17.

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