LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tennis superstar Serena Williams have been named the 2018 Associated Press Athletes of the Year. James is receiving the AP honor for the third time, having previously won in 2013 and 2016, and Williams is now a five-time AP Female Athlete of the Year, previously winning in 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2015.
Honored. Joyful. Happy. Determined. https://t.co/bs90mlwOWU
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) December 27, 2018
Thank you “AP” for the award. Obviously this isn’t for me, it’s for all my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids all over the world and adults as well that allow me to talk for them, pk-callout them, dream with them and inspire them every single day! THANK YOU ??#JamesGang? https://t.co/xwfwZrNwGn
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 27, 2018
Building his case for Male Athlete of the Year, LeBron James opened the “I Promise” public school in Akron, OH, led the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Eastern Conference Championship and made the most high profile move of the NBA offseason when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In Serena Williams’ case for Female Athlete of the Year, the Associated Press specifically noted her “perseverance”. Williams gave birth to her daughter in September 2017, requiring four separate procedures to remove blood clots associated with the birth. Making her return to tennis in 2018, Williams reached the finals of both Wimbledon and the U. S. Open. With her fifth selection, only legendary multi-sport athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias now has more selections as AP Female Athlete of the Year than Serena Williams.