Is Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback who's ever lived? He has the awards to back it up, but his accomplishments and fame go beyond that. He made "Omaha" into a household name. He made people laugh as a Saturday Night Live host and in commercials. He won one Super Bowl, and played in two others. He donated lots of money for an Indianapolis children's hospital. And when everyone thought his career was over because of a herniated disc in his neck, he proved them wrong with yet another NFL MVP performance. Why has Peyton Manning been so good for so long? Let's take a look.
Kevin Durant is a kid at heart when he's not busy being a basketball star. He is a 6-foot-9 forward with guard skills and a drive to be the best in whatever he does. That includes acting-Durrant starred in the movie Thunderstruck. He made such an impression in his one year at the University of Texas that he became the NBA's no. 2 draft pick. Before he was 25 years old, Durrant was a three-time NBA scoring champion and an Olympic gold medalist. He rates as one of the NBA's most popular players-you can catch him on Twitter-and goes out of his way to help those in need. Durrant is a superstar in every sense of the word.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, also known as "RG3," is not Superman, although he sometimes wears Superman socks. He has become one of the nation's most popular athletes. He set Texas state track records in high school when he wasn't dominating in football. Griffin won the Heisman Trophy while at Baylor University. He became the NFL's no. 2 overall draft pick by Washington, then won NFL offensive rookie of the year honors. In his spare time, Griffin does things for those less fortunate. He is a superstar in every sense of the word.
Many basketball experts consider Michael Jordan the greatest player in the history of the game. During his 15 seasons in the NBA, Michael was voted the leagues Most Valuable Player six times. He was the leagues leading scorer a record 10 times. And, most important, he led his team, the Chicago Bulls, to six NBA championship titles. But Michael Jordan is much more than a basketball legend. Through his winning personality, his sense of style, and his many product endorsementsalong with his on-court heroicsMichael became one of the most recognized personalities in the entire world. He helped define what it meant to be cool for a generation of kids. Today Michael remains involved in the NBA as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. By supporting a variety of charities, he continues to be a role model as well.
Sheryl Swoopes established herself as one of the best basketball players in the world while she was still in college at Texas Tech. In 1997 she was the first player signed to a new all-womens professional basketball league, the WNBA. During her career in the WNBA, Sheryl led her team to four championships, was voted Most Valuable Player three times, and was a perennial player in the annual All-Star game. She also earned three Olympic gold medals while playing for the U.S. national team. Sheryl is one of the most decorated basketball players in history, but she is also a role model for young people everywhere. This book details Sheryls many successes, both on and off the court, and discusses how she became one of the best and most influential basketball players.
Tim Duncan might just be the greatest power forward in NBA history, and strangely enough, he almost never learned how to play the game. Duncans first love was swimming, but when a devastating hurricane left his training area in polluted ruins, he turned to basketball. Hard work and a great talent for the game would take him on a journey from his hometown of Christiansted in the Virgin Islands to Wake Forest and ultimately to the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan has led the Spurs to four championships, winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award on three occasions. He has been chosen for the NBAs All-Star team 13 times, and was named the league MVP in 2002 and 2003. Despite his quiet demeanor, Tim has become a dominant force on the hardwood. He has also found success away from the game in family life with his wife Amy and their two children, as well as in his work with the Tim Duncan Foundation.
Venus and Serena Williams grew up in Compton, California, where they sometimes heard gunfire as they learned how to play tennis at a local playground. As teenagers, they grew into athletic women whose powerful serves often overwhelmed their opponents. In time, each sister would climb to the top rankings of international womens tennis. They have also maintained interests off the court: Venus has become a successful interior designer, while Serena has taken several acting roles and also designs womens fashions. But there have been dark days for the two sisters, as well. Both have had to deal with racism, and to endure nagging injuries that have sidelined them for months. They also experienced the tragedy of a sister murdered on the streets of Compton. Venus and Serena have stayed competitive, however, and each is committed to remaining among the best players on the womens tennis tour for many more years.