Athlete of the Month Ballot

April 2021

Male

Ronald Acuña, baseball, Venezuela
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña earned Major League Baseball’s Player of the Month honors for April 2021 after hitting .341 with eight home runs, three stolen bases, 18 RBIs and 25 runs scored in the first 24 games of the season. Acuña scored 20 runs in the Braves’ first 15 games, the most in franchise history.

Jared Butler, basketball, United States
Baylor University guard Jared Butler scored 22 points with seven assists, three rebounds, and zero turnovers and took home Most Outstanding Player honors as the Bears defeated Gonzaga in the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game in Indianapolis on 6 April 2021. Butler is the first player to score at least 20 points and seven assists in a title game since Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony in 2003.

Stephen Curry, basketball, United States
Golden State guard Stephen Curry earned NBA Western Conference Player of the Month honors after averaging a league-high 37.3 points on 52.8 percent shooting in the month. Curry made 96 three pointers in April, the most ever made in a single month.

Brad Marchand, hockey, Canada
Boston’s Brad Marchand led the NHL with 14 goals and 24 points in 17 games in the month of April, bringing home the league’s Star of the Month honor for the East Division. Marchand also led the league with three shorthanded goals and was tied for first place with four game-winning goals in the month.

Hideki Matsuyama, golf, Japan
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shot a 10-under 278 to win The Masters title in Augusta, Ga., on 11 April 2021. Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a golf major.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, tennis, Greece
Greece’s Stafanos Tsitsipas defeated Russia’s Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-3 to capture his first Masters 1000 title at the Monte-Carlo Masters tournament on 18 April 2021. He also became the first Greek player in history to win a Masters 1000 title.

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Female

Ashleigh Barty, tennis, Australia
Australia’s Ashleigh Barty defeated Canada’s Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 4-0 to capture the Miami Open title on 3 April 2021. Barty, the world’s top-ranked player, won after Andreescu retired due to injury in the second set.

Ruth Chepngetich, athletics, Kenya
Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich broke the women’s world record in the half marathon with a time of 1:04:02 in Istanbul on 4 April 2021. Chepngetich’s time took 29 seconds off the previous world record set by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh earlier this year.

Haley Jones, basketball, United States
Stanford forward Haley Jones scored 17 points and recorded eight rebounds and took home Most Outstanding Player honors as the Cardinal defeated Arizona in the NCAA women’s basketball national championship game in San Antonio, Texas, on 4 April 2021. Jones also impressed Stanford’s semifinal win, scoring 24 points against South Carolina.

Jade Jones, taekwondo, Great Britain
Great Britain’s Jade Jones won the third European Taekwondo Championships title of her career after defeating Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun 20-5 in the women’s under-57 kilograms final. Jones is the two-time defending Olympic champion in the event.

Madison Lilley, volleyball, United States
University of Kentucky setter Madison Lilley, the national player of the year, was named the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament Most Outstanding Player after recording 53 set assists as the Wildcats defeated the University of Texas in four sets in the championship match in Omaha, Neb., on 24 April 2021. It was Kentucky’s first national title in volleyball and also the first for any Southeastern Conference (SEC) team.

Patty Tavatanakit, golf, Thailand
Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit shot an 18-under 270 to capture a 2 stroke victory over New Zealand’s Lydia Ko at the ANA Inspiration in California on 4 April 2021. Tavatanakit’s 18-under score was just one shot shy of Dottie Pepper’s 19-under record held since 1999. She is the first rookie to win the event since American Juli Inkster did so in 1984.