Light heavyweight Jerry Odom (Bowie, Md.) has been selected as USA Boxing's National Athlete of the Month for February. Odom, who turned 16-years-old on February 27, won the light heavyweight title in the 14-15-year-old age division at the National Silver Gloves, February 5-7 in Independence, Mo. In addition, Odom was named the Outstanding Boxer for the 14-15-year-old age division.
Odom recorded two victories at the 2009 National Silver Gloves, closing the event with a strong third round stoppage. He began boxing only a year ago, following the guidance of his uncle, an AAU basketball coach. Odom has been training with Coach Bernard Roach over the past year at the No Excuses Boxing Gym in Capitol Heights, Md. A student at Flowers High School in Springdale, Md., Odom will now prepare for the 2009 USA Boxing National Championships, June 8-13, in Denver, Colo., where he will compete in the Junior Olympic division.
USA Boxing has created a grassroots athlete of the month award as well, providing an opportunity to recognize athletes who epitomize the organization's mission at the local level. The first recipient of the grassroots award is 11-year-old Keegan Grove (Martinsburg, W. Va.). Grove currently boxes at the 95 pound weight division, and is a great kid both in and out of the boxing ring.
Despite his young age, Grove consistently remains focused on the mission at hand when at an event, and has always shown positive behavior. He is an excellent boxer and continuously gives his all at every event, including the recent Silver Gloves. After winning his Silver Gloves regional tournament, Grove went on to win a bronze medal in the 95 pound weight division at the 10-11-year-old age group.
USA Boxing's National Athlete of the Month award continues to recognize outstanding performance at the national and international levels.