Jabari Parker: To the casual observer, Jabari Parker signing to Jordan brand in the waning hours before the NBA Draft last Thursday was somewhat routine. Sure Jordan brand usually locks up several of the top talents each draft, but their new partnership with the 2nd overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks introduces a little home cookin’ to the world’s most recognizable basketball brand. A Chicago-native, Jabari connects with the brand and the city that created its legend in a way that some Jordan athletes never will, and with his new home in the NBA just 90 miles up the road, we are looking at the perfect fit for the Jordan brand and the newest most popular player in the Midwest.
Brittney Griner: This former Baylor Bear was born to be a star but no one could have anticipated the impact she would have as a role model in the WNBA and LGBT community. Just weeks into her professional career she set the record with 2 dunks in a game, and this week she set the record for most blocks in a game with 11. While we expect her to continue to set records on the court, we admire Brittney’s strength to speak out on LGBT issues helped lead to the creation of a new initiative called WNBA Pride which celebrates the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in society and professional sports.
Jason Kidd: Even while he played, it was clear Jason Kidd’s basketball knowledge exceeded the level of simply the point guard directing the team, and he eventually traded in his jersey for the coach’s box last year with the Brooklyn Nets. After securing Jabari Parker with the #2 pick in this year’s draft, the Milwaukee Bucks came calling and Jason was eager to take the reins of a new squad of young Bucks. Exciting times are ahead for Jason and his new organization and he now has the chance to become one of the only NBA players ever to win a ring as a player and a coach.
Dara Torres: After 5 Olympic Games and 12 Olympic Medals, U.S. swimmer Dara Torres could easily hang her hat on those incredible feats and call it a career. Instead, Dara now dedicates her time to motivating others and educating future generations on health and fitness. Recently Dara has partnered with the Voices of Meningitis for it’s Get in the Game Campaign to spread awareness about the severe dangers of meningococcal meningitis. Now a mother herself, Dara has taken to local schools and community centers touring across the U.S. to urge others about early detection and vaccination of this deadly disease.
Ozzie Smith: While his backflippin’ days across the infield may be finished, Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith has remained a prominent figure and ambassador for Major League Baseball into his retirement. Aside from his many motivational speaking engagements and charitable appearances, Ozzie is set to take the field in his 11th straight All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game coming up this year in Minnesota. Ozzie joins fellow HOF’er Rollie Fingers as the only 2 legends to participate in the celebrity All-Star event since its inception in 2001.
Brad Keselowski: “We should’ve stuck with beer!” Brad Keselowski raced his way into Victory Lane for the 2nd time this season but in celebration, accidentally cut his hand on a bottle of champagne! Luckily the injury was not too serious and to the delight of his main sponsor (Miller Lite), Brad candidly told reporters his race team should’ve stuck with his beverage of choice in Victory Lane. Now as one of NASCAR’s up-and-coming favorites, Brad‘s young, charismatic personality off the track have made him quite the crowd favorite at events and fundraisers.
Joe Montana: The legend of Candlestick Park and those that graced that field will be relived one final time when some of the NFL’s greats take the field for the Legends of Candlestick flag football game on July 12th. On hand will be many familiar San Francisco 49er greats including Joe Montana and Mr. Hands himself, Jerry Rice, who are set to take on Dan Marino and a school of other dolphin legends. While Joe has maintained a number of endorsement deals and speaking opportunities, this game gives him a chance to relive his fond memories with the 49ers and put on a great event for fans and the benefitting charities.
Casey Patterson/Jake Gibb: What’s better than spending your working career playing volleyball on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Such is the life of professional volleyballers Casey Patterson and partner Jake Gibb who currently sit as the #1 ranked duo on the AVP Tour. This week the tour stops in Milwaukee and while beach volleyball continues to rise in popularity in the States, many expect the sport to take center stage at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with Casey and Jake at the forefront of the American regime.
Barry Sanders: Barry Sanders literally ran the 90’s; right into that silver and blue painted end zone time and time again. The Hall of Fame Detroit Lions running back was recently selected as the #1 player in the NFL during the 1990’s in the decade by decade lists that NFL.com has been compiling in celebration of Decade Month. Now years after his thousands upon thousands of rushing yards, the untacklable legend continues to motivate others with his stories of triumph during the peak of his career and his wholehearted commitment to reach his goals.
Michael Strahan: We’re not saying his TV career overshadows his 7 Pro Bowls and Super Bowl ring, but Michael Strahan is easily one of the most successful crossover sports stars turned TV personalities in recent years. Michael took over for renowned TV host Regis Philbin to co-host Live with Kelly and Michael also featuring Kelly Ripa, and now helps co-host ABC’s flagship morning news and talk show, Good Morning America. The world is not enough for this former defensive lineman as word has recently broke that his own NYC lounge is now in the works as we type; this is shaping out to be quite the retirement plan for this future NFL Hall of Famer!
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