DAPHNE, Ala. – United States professional golfer, Michelle Wie, and Spanish professional tennis player, Rafael Nadal, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s June 2014 Athletes of the Month.
Nadal won the men’s French Open in Paris, France, by defeating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 and 6-4 on June 8th. The victory for Nadal was his record ninth French Open title and was his 14th Grand Slam title. He holds a 66-1 record at the French Open all-time.
In the female division, Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open Title on June 22nd, in Pinehurst, N.C. Wie finished the tournament 2-under 278 with a two-stroke victory over the No.1 ranked Stacy Lewis. The victory was her first major title win.
Finishing second in the male division was soccer forward James Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored a total of five goals in four matches for the Colombian national team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rodriquez’s first three goals helped Colombia win and advance out of the group stage. Rodriquez scored both goals in the team’s 2-0 win over Uruguay on June 28th, sending the Colombian team to the Word Cup quarterfinals.
The runner-up to Wie in the female division is the pitcher for the 2014 National Champion University of Florida softball team, Hannah Rogers. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Women’s College World Series that concluded on June 4th in Oklahoma City, Okla. Rogers finished 4-0 during the College World Series and 7-0 during the National Tournament. She was also named the Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year.
Third place recipients for June are Brianna Rollins, the winner of the 100 meter women’s hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League Golden Gala, and Clayton Kershaw, a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rollins finished the race with an outstanding years-best time of 12.53 seconds. Kershaw threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies on June 19th. In the 8-0 victory over the Rockies, Kershaw had a career high 15 strikeouts. For the month of June, he finished with a perfect 6-0 record.
Wie and Nadal are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2014 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 30th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.
The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first two weeks of each month to vote for the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.
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. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.