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Dominant Tennis and Golf Champions Named Athletes of the Month

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Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Dominating wins in major tournaments earned Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and American golfer Cristie Kerr the United States Sports Academy’s June Male and Female Athlete of the Month honors.

Nadal, the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis player, won his fifth French Open in six years and won every match at Roland Garros in straight sets for the second time in three years. Spain’s “King of the Clay Court” has won every major clay court tournament this year (French Open, the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, the Monte Carlo-Rolex Masters, and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome).

Cristie Kerr was named Female Athlete of the Month after she won the LPGA Championship by 12 strokes, the largest margin of victory in the history of the tournament, and tied for second with the biggest margin in any LPGA major. She also won the LPGA State Farm Classic with a score of 22 under par, a record low for that tournament.

Finishing second to Nadal for Male Athlete of the Month was Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers’ guard was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the NBA Finals after averaging 28.6 points per game in the finals and 29.2 per game in the playoffs. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson finished third after pitching a no-hitter in a 149-pitch performance in a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Christie Kerr

Cristie Kerr

Second place in the female ballot went to Queen Harrison, who won the NCAA Championship in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.67 seconds, and won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.55 seconds. The Virginia Tech senior and 2008 Olympian was the first woman to win both hurdle events at the NCAA championships. Coming in third was Chaunte Lowe, the women’s overall champion at the U.S. Track and Field Championships, who won the high jump by clearing 6 feet, 8.75-inches, an American record.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and fill out the nomination form, and return to the website on 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.

Private Universities, Community Colleges Agree to Ease Transfers

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A new agreement reached on 30 June will allow more of Alabama’s junior college and community college students to have easy access to the United States Sports Academy’s upper-division Bachelor’s degree program.

The Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAICU) coordinated the development of a system-wide agreement with the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education (ADPE) that will make it easier for community college students to transfer to Alabama’s private colleges and universities. Students will now know what courses will transfer to these private schools prior to enrolling.

The Academy is a member of the AAICU.

This new agreement is similar to individual pacts that the Academy has had with seven Alabama community colleges, except that this one act triples the size of those connections. What is most significant is that the lower-division curriculum offered by community colleges will now have a logical extension to upper-division institutions such as the Academy.

The Academy offers bachelor’s degree programs in sports management, sports coaching, and sports studies.

Sport Artist Scores with World Cup Exhibit

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Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki

The paintings of Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, the 2002 American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year, are being featured in a month-long exhibition in Florence, Italy. The exhibition is in honor of the FIFA World Cup.

The exhibit, which opened on 11 June at the Frascione Arte Gallery and will run until 11 July 2010, is titled “Football Portraits,” in which Valyraki is presenting a series of athletic themes featuring soccer. It also features soccer-themed paintings by Olivia Magris, Dino Boschi, Lorenzo Perrone, Frank O’, and the late Renato Guttouso.

A native of Athens, Greece, Valyraki graduated with distinction from Athens University Superior School of Fine Arts in 1980, where she studied under Yiannis Moralis and Lazaros Lameras. In 1981, Valyraki moved to Florence to continue her studies on the History of Art with a scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She earned a Ph.D from the University of Florence. Her work, “The Downhill Skier,” became one of the official posters for that year’s Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

The Sport Artist of the Year Award is presented 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 including film, video or sculpture 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 1,000 pieces across all forms of media, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, prints, posters and photography.

The Museum is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.

Historic Russian Physical Education School Reaches Agreement with Academy

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Emblem for National State University of Physical Education, Sports, and Health

United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich signed a protocol agreement with the National State University of Physical Education, Sports, and Health, named after P. F. Lesgaft, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, which will allow cooperation between the Russian institution and America’s Sports University in program participation and student exchanges.

The agreement calls for the two institutions to inform one another about the parameters of specialized educational programs in sport science, physical education, and recreation in order to allow for participation from the other school. It also allows for exchanges of students between the two institutions.

Founded in 1896, the Lesgaft School is one of the oldest physical training educational institutions in the world. It was founded by Piotr Frantsovitch Lesgaft, who is considered the father of physical education in Russia.

Caribbean Sports Science University Launched

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The University of Technology in Jamaice (UTech) launched the “Caribbean School of Sports Science,” a department developed with cooperation from the United States Sports Academy, in a ceremony on its campus in Kingston on 23 June.

Professor Errol Morrison, the President of the University of Technology (left), met with Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich during his recent visit to Kingston, Jamaica.

In September 2009, a delegation from UTech visited the Academy campus and a protocol between the United States Sports Academy and UTech was signed. UTech had sought advice and direction from the Academy in establishing a national school of sport to serve the entire Caribbean basin.

The delegation visiting the Academy was led by UTech’s President, the Honorable Professor Errol Morrison. Also in the party during the signing were Director of Sport Anthony Davis, Dr. Colin Gyles, Faculty of Science and Sport, and Dr. Neville Graham, Curriculum Consultant.

Utech is the primary university for Jamaican athletes and has been seeking to establish itself as a center for sport education in the Caribbean for a number of years. “The Academy is pleased and delighted in having played a part in helping UTech, Jamaica, to establish its Caribbean School of Science and Sport,” said Dr. Rosandich. “We believe that it has a solid base and will make a significant contribution to the field of sport education, not only in the Caribbean Basin, but in the world at large.”

Academy Department Chairs to Present at University of South Alabama Medical School

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Dr. Enrico Esposito

The United States Sports Academy’s chairs of sports medicine and sports fitness and health will be giving presentations relating to youth sports at a weekly sports medicine seminar hosted by the University of South Alabama in Mobile on Friday, 18 June.

Dr. Enrico Esposito, chair of sports medicine, will be giving a presentation on injuries in children’s sports. Dr. Jordan Moon, chair of sports fitness and health, will be presenting on children’s sports nutrition. They will be speaking to a group of resident physicians and faculty doctors.

Dr. Jordan Moon

Dr. Esposito has an extensive background in sports medicine, sports chiropractics and sports performance coaching. He is a chiropractic physician with certifications in teaching, athletic training, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, exercise physiology and sport safety. He has worked as a consultant within the occupational health and safety industry, and the facility construction industry. He has served as an athletic trainer and strength coach at the high school, college, and Olympic levels.

Dr. Moon has trained athletes at all levels, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL), as well as college athletes. Dr. Moon has published several articles on human body composition and changes regarding age and fitness level. Although his primary focus is on the validity and development of body composition measurement devices, Dr. Moon is interested in sports nutrition research and obesity research, as well. He has served as a reviewer for the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.

Concussion Expert Dr. Cantu Honored by Academy

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Dr. Cantu receives medal from Mr. Thomas Cafaro, member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, and VP for Enrollment & Marketing, Nichols College

Dr. Robert Cantu, a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of sport concussions, has been honored with the Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award from the United States Sports Academy.

Dr. Cantu is a clinical professor of Neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine, a Founding Member and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board Sports Legacy Institute, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Co-Director of the Neurologic Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

Dr. Cantu is known worldwide for his work on catastrophic head and neck injuries and post-concussive syndrome. He was the first doctor to establish a grading scale (Grades 1-3) for concussions, based on symptoms at the time of injury. This work has provided medical professionals with vital guidelines where none previously existed. From his data, valuable contributions have been made in sports safety, injury treatment, and accident reduction.

Dr. Cantu has become a valuable voice of sports medicine to television, newspaper, and magazine reporters about the debate involving National Football League (NFL) policies on concussions and studies linking brain disease with head injuries incurred on the football field. This issue is important in many sports that impact both professionals and young amateurs throughout their lives.

Given annually, the Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award is named in honor of a former Olympic athlete, international sports medicine scholar, and Director of the University of Kentucky Rehabilitation Center. It is awarded to experts who contribute significantly to the growth and development of sports medicine through practice and/or scholarly activity. The individual should exhibit a mastery of some aspect of sports medicine through practice or research, be well known in the sports medicine field, and have an abiding belief in ethical behavior and its practice in pursuit of knowledge.

Kenyan Marathon Rookie, American Paddling Prodigy Win Academy’s May Athlete of the Month Honors

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A marathoner who reached an early milestone and an American teenager who is dominating canoeing and kayaking nationally won the United States Sports Academy Male and Female Athlete of the Month honors for May.

Eliud Kiptanui of Kenya was named Male Athlete of the Month after he set a track record, winning the Prague International Marathon in 2:05:39 in only his second marathon. Despite running on a difficult course with several kilometers of cobblestones, the rookie beat the course record by more than two minutes with the sixth-fastest time of the year for all marathons (17th all time). This all occurred less than a month before his 21st birthday.

Hailey Thompson, 16, of Stevens Point, Wisc. was named Female Athlete of the Month after she dominated the C-1W (singles canoe) Class, claiming 1st place in both the Junior & Senior competitions at the combined 2010 USA Junior & Senior Team Trials for slalom canoe and kayak in Wausau, Wisc. She will represent the U.S. this summer in the International Canoe Federation World Cup competitions at Prague, Czech Republic and La Seu d’Urgelle, Spain, the Junior World Championship at Foix, France, and the Senior World Championship in Tacen, Slovenia.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and fill out the nomination form, 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.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay finished second on the male side after pitching the second perfect game of the season and only the 20th in the history of Major League Baseball. Hallady is 8-3 this season with a 2.03 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 93 innings.

Daniella Ryf of Switzerland finished second on the female side after winning the second leg of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Championships in Seoul, South Korea with a time of 2:00:59.

Professional basketball star Kobe Bryant finished third after the Los Angeles Lakers’ guard averaged 29.4 points per game in the Western Conference playoffs, leading his team to its third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

College lacrosse player Sarah Mollison finished third on the women’s side. The University of Maryland’s attacker had three goals and one assist to lead the Terrapins back from a 6-0 deficit to dethrone five-time defending champion Northwestern in the finals NCAA women’s lacrosse finals.

Sports Stars & Famous Artists Featured in Online Sport Art Book

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Presenting 25 years of great sport art, the United States Sports Academy has published its first digital book, Contemporary Sport Art: The Artist and The Athlete. Each artist profiled is a recipient of the prestigious Sport Artist of the Year Award.

The brainstorm of Academy President and CEO, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, this intriguing combination of epic sports stories, artist biographies, and photos of dramatic sport art covers artists and athletes from across the globe throughout the exciting years that define sport as we experience it today.

Displaying over 350 color photos and 30 biographies of major world artists, the new digital publication, which can be viewed at, offers a unique opportunity to understand the rich history of sports and the evolution of attitudes toward all the parts of life that sports reflect. Captured for posterity in many of their defining career moments by renowned painters, photographers, and sculptors, the sports icons portrayed in the book include: baseball great, Jackie Robinson, by Kadir Nelson of California; gold medalist, Nastia Liukin, by Bruce Larsen of Alabama; football’s Forrest Gregg by Robert Riger of New York; Shaolin Kung Fu athletes by Gu Gan of China; Muhammad Ali by LeRoy Neiman of New York; Bear Bryant by Daniel A. Moore of Alabama; Bing Mah Yongs by Charles Billich of Australia; golf’s beloved Jack Nicklaus by Donald Moss of Massachusetts; Olympic myths by Daniel You of France; Red Sox 2004 World Series by Opie Otterstad of Texas; and the symbolic figure of Victory by Sergey Eylanbekov of New York.

The international scope of the artists and the athletes reflects the significant impact of sports in all cultures around the globe along with the key role that art plays in recording this colorful history. Because sport is a universal language and the transmitter of a society’s values, sport can teach important lessons about the path to excellence, the traits of heroism, the healthy response to both victory and defeat, and the immeasurable value of teamwork. The artworks featured in Contemporary Sport Art: The Artist and The Athlete record great moments in these epic confrontations for a wide audience of present and future art enthusiasts and sports fans to learn from and enjoy.

Academy President, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich brought experienced writer, Anne Kent Rush, author of 15 books through Random House and Simon & Schuster, onboard as the book’s editor. Tobin Terry, a staff writer at the Academy also wrote chapters for the book. The Academy houses the impressive American Sport Art Museum and Archives open to the public and displaying more than 1500 works of sport art in paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints, posters, and photographs.

Academy President Meets With Bahrain Alumni

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Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) met with Dr. Bassam Qambar (middle) and Dr. Samia Al-Qatan of the University of Bahrain’s College of Education during the president’s recent visit to the Kingdom. Dr. Qambar is a graduate of the Academy’s doctoral program and he, and Dr. Al-Qatan work for the General Organization for Youth and Sport where the Academy currently has a contract to deliver its International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) program.

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