The most popular athletes from Virginia
Virginia gave birth to bountiful outstanding athletes who have left a big mark on the US and the world’s sport over the course of history. We decided to create a list of the famous professionals who were born within Virginia‘s borders. Many people will be surprised to see some of the names on the list. Stay tuned and enjoy the short biographies of some of the greatest athletes that defended America’s colors at the biggest stage.
Allen Iverson & Alonzo Mourning
We will start with basketball and a pair of multiple All-Stars who enjoyed the peaks of their careers in the 1990s and 2000s respectively. Betting Tips 4 You have helped up in this analysis as they have American sports experts and hold plenty of data for their daily analysis, match previews and predictions. Allen Iverson was born in 1975 in Hampton. An 11-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP spent most of his career in Philadelphia 76ers. We all remember him by a golden decade he spent with the 76ers who retired his No 3 shirt as a way to show appreciation for what he has done for the franchise. Phila selected him as the No 1 pick in the 1996 NBA draft. Five years later he became the league’s MVP. He also had short spells at Denver Nuggets, Detroit Piston, and Memphis Grizzlies before moving to Besiktas in 2010. Iverson averaged 26.7 points per game and 6.2 assists per game.
Alonzo Mourning is five years older than Iverson. He was born and raised in Chesapeake. Charlotte Hornets took him as the second pick in the 1992 NBA draft. Unlike Iverson, Mourning became the NBA champion with Miami Heat in 2006. He is a 7-time All-Star and he also took two gold medals at Summer Olympic Games in 1994 (Canada) and 2000 (Sydney) with the United States.
Heath Miller & James Farrior
It is hard to highlight a couple of players in the sea of those who successfully represented Virginia in football during the history. There are Hall of Famers such as Bill Dudley, Willie Lanier, Lawrence Taylor, Fran Tarkenton, etc., but we decided to go for multiple-times Super Bowl champions. Both Heath Miller and James Farrior were part of the Steelers’ golden generation. They have both clinched titles at Super Bowl XL and XLIII. Heath Miller was a tight end who spent his entire career (ten years) at Pittsburgh Steelers. Farrior was a middle linebacker who began his professional career at New York Jets before moving to the Steelers in 2002. He ended his career in the Steel City spending nine years there.
Arthur Ashe became the first-ever black man to win a Grand Slam title when he defeated the reigning champion Jimmy Connors in the Wimbledon final in 1975 (3-1). Ashe was born in 1943 in Richmond and he won three grand slam trophies during his successful career. He only failed to clinch a Roland Garros title (quarter-final is his best result at French Open). He also won the Davis Cup on four occasions and held the No 1 spot in the ATP rankings in 1968. The center court at the US Open is named after him.
LaShawn Merritt was born in 1986 in Portsmouth. He took a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the 400 meters. His career-best result, 43.65, is the seventh-fastest record of all time. He broke an Olympic record in the relay with the US team. He also won the 2009 World Championships in the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
Justin is an active baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros. One of the sports’ greats was born in 1983 in Manakin-Sabot. He was the second overall pick of the 2004 MLB draft. Verlander has spent 12 fantastic years with the Detroit Tigers since. He played the key role in four successive Central Division championships. The Tigers traded him to the Astros in 2017. He went on to win the World Series right away with Houston. Justin is an eight-time All-Star, including 2018 and 2019.
Born on December 31st, 1995 in Newport News, Gabby Douglas is Virginia’s peculiar talent in artistic gymnastics. She became the Olympic all-around champion in 2012 and went on to win the silver medal at the 2015 World Championship (all-round). She was also a member of the US winning teams at both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics. Gabby still has time to shine and there are no doubts we will celebrate her achievements in the period to come.
Hamlin was born in Tampa, Florida, but spent the entire life in Chesterfield, Virginia, and there is certainly room for him in this list. He is the current NASCAR Cup Series driver. He won more than 30 races in the competition, including the Daytona 500 in 2016, 2017, and 2020. By clinching the win at the start of 2020, he became only the fourth man in the competition’s history to have won a race in back-to-back years.