Athletes of the Month - December

By Sean O'Neill | Jan. 01, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)

Lily Zhang 

Lily Zhang (Palo Alto, California) swept the women’s singles, women’s doubles (with Jaiqi Zhang) and mixed doubles (with Timothy Wang) titles at the U.S. National Championships, held Dec. 16-20 in Las Vegas. She was also part of the first U.S. team to win a medal (bronze) at the 2014 ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships, held Nov. 30-Dec. 7 in Shanghai. 

 2014 December AOM
Jimmy Butler 

Jimmy Butler (Houston, Texas) made history by winning the U.S. Table Tennis National Championships 21 years after his last singles crown – the largest gap between titles in tournament history. Butler, 43, defeated Kunal Chodri in a final that went the seven-game limit. Butler, who also won in 1990, 1992 and 1993, is the sixth man to win four or more national men's titles and is the third-oldest champion. 

 2014 December AOM
Tara Profitt 

Tara Profitt (Apollo Beach, Florida) took home bronze in the combined women’s 1-2 class singles and the women’s 2-3 class team event with Cynthia Ranii at the Copa Costa Rica 2014 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica. 

 2014 December AOM
Daryl Sterling, Jr.

Daryl Sterling, Jr. (San Diego, California), finished No. 1 in his singles group at the Copa Costa Rica 2014 Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica after upsetting No. 10 world-ranked Thorsten Schwinn of Germany, 3-1 (8,-9,6). Sterling reached the quarterfinals of the tournament before falling to Canada’s Masoud Mojtahed.

 2014 December AOM
US Junior Girl Team 

Lily Zhang (Palo Alto, California), Crystal Wang (Boyd, Maryland), Prachi Jha (Milpitas, California), Angela Guan (San Jose, California) and Coach Lily Yip (Dunellen, NJ) became the first team in U.S. Table Tennis history to win the World Junior Team Medal, taking home bronze in Shanghai, China.

 2014 December AOM