COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee announced basketball player Mercedes Russell (Springfield, Ore.) and freestyle kayaker Dane Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.) as its June Athletes of the Month, while the men’s tennis doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) was awarded Team of the Month honors.
Russell led the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in rebounding (11.4 rpg) and blocked shots (4.0 bpg), while adding a Team USA second-best 11.6 points per game to help the squad to a perfect 5-0 record and gold medal in Merida, Mexico, on June 13-18. The 6’5″ center started in all five games and averaged 22.8 minutes per contest, while establishing five U.S. women’s U16 records, including marks for rebounds and blocks averaged. She also ranked fourth in the tournament in free throw percentage (.750) and seventh in scoring.
Jackson grabbed four of the eight medals won by Team USA at the 2011 Freestyle World Championships in Plattling, Germany, that ran from June 20-26. The 17-year-old won gold in men’s junior kayak, men’s kayak squirt and men’s canoe, followed by a bronze in men’s open canoe. Jackson’s three gold medals at a single Freestyle World Championships surpassed the previous record of two. For his efforts, the German hosts presented Jackson the Bavarian Sportsman Award at the closing ceremony.
The world’s top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan won Wimbledon and the Wimbledon warm-up event in London for their 72nd and 73rd career doubles titles together. At the end of June, the Bryans claimed their second career Wimbledon crown and 11th Grand Slam doubles title when they won Wimbledon. With the victory, they tied Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the most Grand Slam doubles titles. At the Wimbledon warm-up event in London, which was held June 6-12, the Bryans won four straight matches for their 72nd doubles title together.
In the female category, freestyle kayaker Emily Jackson (Rock Island, Tenn.) finished second in the voting, while boxer Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) came in third. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, tennis player Bjorn Fratangelo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was second and basketball player Jabari Parker (Chicago, Ill.) took third. Finally, in the team selection, the USA Water Polo Women’s National Team was just behind the Bryans, and the USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team came in third.
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. A voting panel selects the winners from the pool of nominees, with online fan voting via Twitter accounts for 10 percent of the total vote.
1. Mercedes Russell, Basketball
2. Emily Jackson, Canoe & Kayak
3. Marlen Esparza, Boxing
1. Dane Jackson, Canoe & Kayak
2. Bjorn Fratangelo, Tennis
3. Jabari Parker, Basketball
1. Bob & Mike Bryan, Tennis
2. USA Water Polo Women’s National team, Water Polo
3. USA Basketball Men’s U16 National team, Basketball
For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .