DAPHNE, Ala. The United States Sports Academy has announced its Athlete of the Month ballot for March. Following the selection committee’s meeting April, a total of 12 candidates – six male, six female – from eight different countries comprise the list.

The original pool of those nominated was 42 before getting pared down by a vote from a panel made up of Academy faculty and staff. The list includes 2014 Academy Athlete of the Year Novak Djokovic, the tennis superstar from Serbia, and record-setting American skier Lindsey Vonn, who won January’s honor.

Other male candidates are: He Chong, diver, China; Martin Guptill, cricket player, New Zealand; Jordan Spieth, golfer, United States; Russell Westbrook, NBA star, United States, and Akito Watabe, ski jumper, Japan.

Other female candidates are: Marit Bjoergen, skier, Norway; Simona Halep, tennis player, Romania; Mima Iota, table tennis player, Japan; Gwen Jorgensen, triathlete, United States, and Lizzy Yarnold, skeleton, United Kingdom.

One male and one female will be chosen the winners as decided by the public. Everyone is encouraged to cast their vote today on the Academy’s website, www.ussa.edu, and encourage their friends to do the same. The full ballot is listed, along with bios of what each athlete accomplished during the month of March. Voting will continue until next week.

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.