Photo credit Getty Images.
United States golf professional, Bubba Watson, and United States collegiate basketball standout, Breanna Stewart, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s April 2014 Athletes of the Month.
Bubba Watson took first place in the male division after winning his second Master’s Golf Tournament on April 10th in Augusta, Ga. Watson fired a final round 3-under par 69 to capture the win by three shots. Watson finished the tournament at 8-under par 280.
In the female division, Stewart led the University of Connecticut to the 2014 NCAA Division I National Championship defeating Notre Dame on April 8th. A freshman forward, she averaged 20.8 points and 6.2 rebounds and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Women’s Final Four. She became only the fourth freshman to be honored as the Most Outstanding Player of the women’s Final Four.
Finishing second in the male division was Meb Keflezighi, the 2014 winner of the Boston Marathon on April 21st. Keflezighi, the three-time Boston Marathon winner and first American male to win the marathon since 1983, finished the race in an incredible time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 37 seconds.
The runner-up to Stewart in the female division is Russian tennis champion, Maria Sharapova, who defeated Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, to earn her third consecutive title in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on April 27th in Stuggart, Germany.
Third place April recipients are the women’s Boston Marathon winner, Rita Jeptoo, in the female category and Pilipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao, in the men’s category.
Jeptoo, a native of Kenya, finished the marathon in an outstanding winning time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 57 seconds. Pacquiao, who is the first boxer to win titles in eight different divisions, defeated Timothy Bradley on April 12th in a unanimous decision to earn him the current title of World Boxing Organization welterweight champion.
Stewart and Watson 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.