Team USA National Team Standouts Earn Athlete of the Month Recognition park
A pair of United States National Team standouts have been recognized as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month for July and August. Elfrid Payton, a John Ehret High graduate, helped the USA to a Gold Medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships in July, while Daniel Cabrera, now a freshman at John Curtis, was a key to the United States Gold Medal in the 15U COPABE Pan American Championship in August. The monthly awards are selected in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Payton helped lead the United States to the Gold Medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic in early July. The former John Ehret Patriot and current ULL Ragin Cajun helped Team USA to a six straight July wins to cap a perfect 9-0 record for the Americans. The U.S. defeated Brazil (91-66), Australia (94-51), Serbia (71-62), Canada (109-67) and Lithuania (100-60) to advance to the title game where they again defeated the Serbs, 82-68. Payton started every game in the tournament and turned in his best performance in the Gold Medal game, scoring nine points to go with six assists and five steals. He finished the tourney averaging 6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.3 steals, shooting .575 from the field (23-40) and .900 from the line (9-10).
Cabrera of River Ridge and John Curtis Christian High School was a pivotal figure in the USA Baseball 15U National Team winning the COPABE Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Columbia. Cabrera picked up the win in relief as the United States rallied past Panama 5-4 on August 3 to reach the gold medal game. Against Panama, Cabrera came on in relief in the second inning and he was the difference, hurling six shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out nine as the U.S. rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win. Cabrera was also 1-for-3 at the plate with a single. The U.S. Team went 11-0 en route to the championship with the final four games in August. Overall, Cabrera was 2-for-5 with an RBI at the plate in six games and was 2-0 on the mound with an excellent 1.98 ERA. In four appearances, Cabrera pitched 13 2/3 innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits. He walked no one and fanned 13 hitters.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.