United States Sports Academy Holds 33rd Annual Awards of Sport Program

AOS Group Shot

The United States Sports Academy recently held its 33rd Annual Awards of Sport program on campus in Daphne. Honorees, seated from left, are Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Richard Watkins of Atlanta, Ga.; Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award winner Fairfax Hackley, master trainer and bodybuilder from Falls Church, Va.; Alumnus of the Year Dr. Dave Shrock of Modesto, Calif., (Ed.D, Sports Management, 2009), USA Track & Field leader and Academy National Faculty member; Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award winner Dr. Kenneth Cameron, director of Orthopaedic Research at Keller Army Community Hospital in West Point, N.Y.; and Sport Artist of the Year, Painter, William Williams of Battle Creek, Mich. Respective presenters were trustees, second row from left, Jack Scharr of St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. Gary Cunningham of Santa Barbara, Calif., Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich of Fairhope, Ala., Dr. Don Wukasch of Austin, Texas, and Susan McCollough of Gulf Shores, Ala. Shown third row from left are trustee Dr. Nick Niccolai of Mobile, Ala., and trustee and Founding President Dr. T.P. Rosandich of Daphne, Ala.

To view a full length video of the Awards of Sport 2017 ceremony, click here.

The United States Sports Academy recently held its 33rd Annual Awards of Sport program, a celebration of sport and art and “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.”

The Academy’s Awards of Sport honor those who have made significant contributions to sport in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete. The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness, and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes and Alumni of the Year awards. Continue reading

Public Invited to United States Sports Academy’s 33rd Annual Awards of Sport Program

The public is invited as the United States Sports Academy holds its 33rd Annual Awards of Sport program, a celebration of sport and art and “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, 9 November 2017, on the Academy’s campus located at One Academy Drive in Daphne, Ala. A reception will follow. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP at (251) 626-3303 or email communications@ussa.edu. Continue reading

United States Sports Academy Hosts Veterans for Lunch, Museum Tour

WWII Group

The United States Sports Academy recently hosted local military veterans for a presentation, tour and luncheon on the campus in Daphne, Ala. Seated, from left, are Mawk Arnold, Fairhope, Marines; Jim Jeffries, Daphne, Army; Tom Murray, Mobile, Army; R.L. Constantine, Mobile, Navy; James Bailey, Mobile, Army; and John Walker, Spanish Fort, Marines. Standing, from left, are Academy Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen Butler, Daphne, Air Force; Bruce Terry, Mobile, Army; David Sprott, Mobile, Marines; Garrett Tirpac, Daphne, Coast Guard; James Pitts, Spanish Fort, Army; Pat Flannagan, Chatom, Army; Academy Trustee Dr. Nick Niccolai, Mobile, Navy; Academy Founding President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Daphne, Marines; John New, Daphne, Army; Jim Younce, Mobile, Navy; Dr. Turner Rogers, Mobile, Army; Ed Ramey, Mobile, Navy; and Warren Ross, Irvington, Air Force.

DAPHNE, Ala. – The United States Sports Academy recently hosted a campus luncheon and art museum tour for local military veterans, including two who served in World War II.

Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, a former Marine who founded the Academy in 1972, told the group about the institution’s mission to serve the nation and the world as a sport education resource focused on upgrading sport through programs of instruction, research and service. He also talked with the veterans about the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA), home to more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs.

The veterans were also given a presentation on the Academy’s academic programs by Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen Butler, a 24-year Air Force veteran, who noted that numerous members of the Academy’s faculty and staff are veterans. Continue reading

Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives Unveils Sculpture of Legendary Iranian Wrestler

Academy Art Committee with Sculpture

Members of the United States Sports Academy’s Art Committee participated in the unveiling ceremony of a sculpture of legendary Iranian wrestler Jahan Pahlavan Takhti presented to the American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) by the North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS). From left are committee members Kay Daughdrill; B.J. Cooper; and chair Nancy Raia; Babak Takhti, son of the late Jahan Pahlavan Takhti; Academy Founding President and committee member Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich; Ebrahim Maghsoud, NAIFS President and President of the Hafez Corp. in Mobile, Ala.; Vahid Abideh, NAIFS Founder and CEO and Secretary General of Iran’s Young Journalists Society; committee member emerita and Academy Trustee Susan McCollough; and committee member B’Beth Weldon.

DAPHNE, Ala. – The North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS) presented the United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) a bronze sculpture of the late legendary Iranian wrestler and national hero Jahan Pahlavan Takhti at a recent special ceremony on the Academy campus.
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American Sport Art Museum & Archives Receives Baseball Hall of Famers Signed Print

Baseball art from Busta_LBps

Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr.

Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr.

The United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) in Daphne, Ala., recently received a gift of a limited edition large print of National Baseball Hall of Fame pitchers Steve Carlton and the late Robin Roberts in their Philadelphia Phillies player uniforms. The print is signed by both players, as well as the artist, Cliff Spohn of Plymouth, Conn. The gift was made by Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., of Ono Island, Ala., retired vice president for development and alumni relations at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of more than 1,800 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Public Invited as Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives to Receive Iranian Wrestler Sculpture

Iranian Wrestler Sculpture

The public is invited when the North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS) presents the United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) with a bronze sculpture of the late legendary Iranian wrestler and national hero Jahan Pahlavan Takhti. The presentation is set for Tuesday, 3 October 2017, at 6 p.m. at ASAMA, located at One Academy Drive in Daphne. Refreshments will be served. Created by sculptor Dr. Alireza Khaghani of Tehran, the three-foot, 110-pound statue depicts the Olympic and World Champion wrestler giving a wave of salutation and celebration. It is shown here being sculpted in clay before the bronze casting.

DAPHNE, Ala. – The public is invited when the North American Iranian Friendship Society (NAIFS) presents the United States Sports Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) with a bronze sculpture of the late legendary Iranian wrestler and national hero Jahan Pahlavan Takhti.

The presentation is set for Tuesday, 3 October 2017, at 6 p.m. at ASAMA, located at One Academy Drive in Daphne.  Refreshments will be served.

Created by sculptor Dr. Alireza Khaghani of Tehran, the three-foot, 110-pound statue depicts the Olympic and World Champion wrestler from the waist up giving a wave of salutation and celebration.

The wrestler’s given name was Gholamreza Takhti, but he was popularly called “Jahan Pahlavan,” which means “World Champion.”   The Iranian people gave him this name for his success in wrestling and his chivalrous behavior and sportsmanship during competition. The Tehran native was known throughout his home country not only for his athletic accomplishments, but for being a hero of common people and for supporting the poor and downtrodden.

Born in 1930, Takhti won his first Iranian championship in 1950, and went on to become the highest ranked wrestler in the history of Iranian wrestling. He won one gold (1956 Melbourne) and two silver medals (1952 Helsinki, 1960 Rome) in Olympic Games, as well as two gold (1959 Tehran, 1961 Yokohama) and two silver medals (1951 Helsinki, 1962 Toledo) in World Championships. He is in the United World Wrestling (formerly FILA) Hall of Fame.  He competed in multiple weight classes throughout his career. Continue reading

United States Sports Academy Hosts Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Leaders

United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich, center, recently hosted Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce President Casey Williams, right, and Communications Manager Denise Curtis on the campus in Daphne, Ala., to discuss community collaborations. Williams and Curtis toured the American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) while on campus.

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. Continue reading

Artist Rick Rush Presents Original Bubba Watson Painting to American Sport Art Museum & Archives

Right On Course by Rick Rush

Renowned sport artist Rick Rush, right, presents his original painting,“Right on Course,” depicting Bubba Watson’s historic second win at the Masters, to the American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) on the campus of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala. Academy Founding President and ASAMA creator Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, left, and Academy Art Committee Chairperson Nancy Raia, center, accepted the art for permanent display in the museum.

DAPHNE, Ala. – An original painting of golfer Bubba Watson winning his historic second Masters championship by Rick Rush, world renowned sports artist and United States Sports Academy 2011 Sport Artist of the Year,  has been donated to the collection of the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA).

Known worldwide for his colorful paintings that depict a variety of sports, Rush presented the original work, titled “Right on Course,” to ASAMA after an anonymous benefactor purchased the painting to donate to the museum, where the work is now on permanent display.

Watson won the Masters championship at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in both 2012 and 2014, becoming only the 17th golfer to win the tournament’s coveted green jack twice since the event began in 1934. Rush said “Right on Course” depicts Watson at a time when a new group of golfers would step into the spotlight previously occupied by the greats like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Jerry Pate. Continue reading

Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles Earns Academy’s 2016 Female Athlete of the Year Award

Simone Biles Award

United States Sports Academy 2016 Female Athlete of the Year Simone Biles, right, was recently presented the award by Academy non-resident faculty member Dr. Donn C. Renwick at the World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas.

The United States Sports Academy has presented Olympic gymnast Simone Biles with its Female Athlete of the Year Award for 2016.

Academy non-resident faculty member Dr. Donn C. Renwick recently presented Biles with the award at the World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas, the city in which she currently resides.

Biles, an American gymnast, won four gold medals and one bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Biles won gold with Team USA in the women’s team all-around and won individual gold in the women’s individual all-around, women’s vault, and the women’s floor exercise. Her bronze medal came in the women’s beam. She also won the gold medal in the all-around competition at the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships and won the all-around title at the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials in gymnastics with an overall two-day total of 123.25. Continue reading

Academy’s Gabarrón Mural Continues to Honor Jackie Robinson at 70th Anniversary of Breaking Color Barrier

Jackie Robinson Mural

“A Tribute to the Human Spirit,” by renowned Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón was painted in 1997 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball and in celebration of the Academy’s 25th anniversary.

DAPHNE, Ala. — As Major League Baseball (MLB) this season celebrates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking professional baseball’s color barrier, the United States Sports Academy honors Robinson’s legacy every day with a two-story mural on the side of its building in Daphne, Ala.

The mural, “Tribute to the Human Spirit,” has become a landmark on Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore, where it has been seen by millions as they travel on U.S. Highway 98 through Daphne. The towering stylized baseball batter was painted on the face of the Academy’s main building in 1997 by the great Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón in a dual celebration of the Academy’s 25th Anniversary the 50th Anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier.

One of the largest public offerings of art in the United States, the mural is one of the most visible and renowned pieces of art at the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA).  Gabarrón, the Academy’s 1992 Sport Artist of the year, engaged the assistance of local school children in painting the work.

In 1947, Robinson took the field for the first time for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American player to participate in an MLB game. This year, MLB held several special activities on Jackie Robinson Day in April, including the unveiling of the Hall of Famer’s statue at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. In addition, MLB players wore Robinson’s number 42 during all league games that day. Continue reading