With the current roster of up-and-coming top athletes, 2016 is shaping up to be a stellar year for sports fans. Plus, we’ve got the 2016 Olympics in Rio coming up in August. For now, we’re sticking closer to home with five of our favorite rookies who just may turn out to be the best athlete in their sport.
1. D’Angelo Russell
This 20-year-old point guard for the LA Lakers was the number two pick in the 2015 NBA draft. He had a bit of a rough start to his first year but he’s winding up the season with a bang. According to Bleacher Report, “His 39-point explosion during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 107-101 win over the Brooklyn Nets set the high-water mark for all rookies this season — not to mention for every newbie who’s suited up for this squad since it fled Minneapolis in 1960.”
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2. Carlos Correa
One of MLB’s top athletes, 21-year-old Carlos Correa is shortstop and number three in the batting order for the Houston Astros. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2015 and his record speaks for itself. ESPN raves, “His next game in the big leagues will be his 100th. But in the 99 he played last year, he served up 22 homers and 45 extra-base hits. Only five players that young in history ever hit that many home runs in their first 100 games.”
3. Jared Goff
The Cleveland Browns, who have second pick in the NFL draft this year and the 49ers, who pick seventh, paid extra attention to Berkeley quarterback Jared Goff at his recent Pro Day. CBSSports.com reports, “he reportedly completed 61 of 69 passes overall and culminated his workout with a deep ball, demonstrating the touch, trajectory and precision which helped him toss an impressive 96 touchdowns compared to just 30 interceptions over his stellar career.”
4. Jack Sock
Tennis phenom, Jack Sock, ranked number two in America and 24th in the world, is one to watch on the men’s tour. In the aftermath of Maria Sharapova’s failed dope test, NIKE dropped her and they’ve inked a deal with Sock. However, his most astonishing and refreshing performance was the incredible sportsmanship he showed in a recent match. When his opponent, Lleyton Hewitt’s serve was declared out, Sock told him that it was actually in and that he should contest the call. Hewitt did and was given the point. Sock lost the game but showed he’s a true pro.
5. Jack Harrison
Newbie Jack Harrison, a 19-year-old midfielder from Wake Forest, was the first overall pick of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft. NYFC says of their newest member, “Harrison, a 19-year old attacking player, joins the Club after a standout Freshman season at Wake Forest University that saw him score eight goals and tally 11 assists on the way to winning the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award.”