Photo credits: Getty Images
After one week of online voting, the Academy announced their 2014 March male and female Athlete of the Month recipients. Serbian tennis player, Novak Djokovic, captured first place in the men’s division, while Serena Williams, American tennis player, took first in the women’s.
Djokovic, the number 2 tennis player in the world, won his fourth Sony Open Title on Sunday, 30 March 2014, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Djokovic defeated the number 1 player, Rafael Nadal, with a 6-3, 6-3 win. Williams won the Sony Open Title on Sunday, 30 March 2014, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams defeated Li Na 7-5, 6-1 to earn her record breaking seventh Sony Open Title.
The second place winner in the men’s division went to Lionel Messi, Argentinian soccer player. Messi’s hat trick led Barcelona to a victory over their rivals, Real Madrid, at the El Clásico on Saturday, 29 March 2014. Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 4-3.
Also in second place in the women’s division is Hannah Campbell. Campbell, American collegiate pitcher at the University of South Alabama, pitched her second perfect game and fifth no-hitter of her career against Nicholls State on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Campbell is the first athlete to be drafted from the University of South Alabama.
Matt Every, American golfer, landed in third place in the Athlete of the Month’s men’s division. Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. on 20-23 March 2014, claiming his first PGA Tour title. Every finished the final round 2-under 70 and finished at 13-under 275 for the win.
Missy Franklin, American Swimmer, took third place in the women’s division after she broke the 200-yard freestyle NCAA record at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on 19-22 March 2014, in Minneapolis, Minn. with a winning time of 1 minute and 40.3 seconds.
First place recipients, Djokovic and Williams, 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 visitwww.ussa.edu.