Way to step into the new year!
Serena Williams and LeBron James ended the year on a high note, being named Female and Male Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press (AP), BET reports.
The AP made the announcements, crowning the two for dominating all decade.
Williams has earned 100 U.S. Open wins, 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than any tennis player in the history of the open era, a clothing line, S by Serena, Serena Williams Jewelry featuring conflict-free diamonds, her Nike “Queen” collection in partnership with designer Virgil Abloh, and was named AP Female Athlete of the Year five times in the last decade, in 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2018.
James is in his 17th season with the league. He is one of the NBA’s top scorers and is set to lead the league in assists. In the last decade, no one has scored more points in the NBA than Lebron James. He has played in eight straight finals, won more games and more MVP awards in the last decade than any other player, launched a talk show that got picked up by HBO, a production company that’s putting out content to uplift the culture, and started a school where 90% of the students met or exceeded academic goals. And that’s all in between being a husband, father and leading the charge in giving back any way he can.
The Associated Press said James received the honor for “reigning over all others – with no signs of slowing down.” We have to agree!
“Serena Williams dominated the decade, on the court and in conversation.” Stacy Allaster, former CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association said, “When the history books are written, it could be that the great Serena Williams is the greatest athlete of all time. I like to call it the ‘Serena superpowers’ – that champion’s mindset. Irrespective of the adversity and the odds that are facing her, she always believes in herself. Whether it was health issues; coming back; having a child; almost dying from that – she has endured it all and she is still in championship form. Her records speak for themselves.”
A collective of AP beat writers and member sports editors voted for Williams and James to receive the prestigious Athlete of the Decade honor. James reigns supreme on a list that includes Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer, beating out Tom Brady of the New England Patriots with track superstar Usain Bolt coming in third. And Williams’ dominated the list with gymnast Simone Biles, who won AP Female Athlete of the Year for 2019, coming in a close second.
Biles spoke on Williams’ honor to the Associated Press saying, “She’s been my idol growing up. She’s remained humble. She’s stayed true to herself and her character… win or lose… and I think that’s really neat about an athlete.”
James spoke to the Associated Press about the honor saying, “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life. You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences.”
Congratulations to Serena and LeBron. You are both exemplary athletes, parents and role models. We can’t wait to see what the next decade holds for you all.
Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports