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Top 5 Athletes of 2016

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5. Andy Murray, Tennis: Murray, a 29 year old British talent, dominated tennis in 2016. Murray’s numbers are quite amazing when it comes to the sport of tennis. His rise to number one was not very easy. The most impressive aspect of Murray’s rise to No. 1 was the remarkable challenge of defeating the prestigious, reigning No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the last match of the 2016 year. Murray over his career has posted an impressive record of 634-175. Just in 2016 alone Murray went 78-9 along with 9 titles. His titles weren’t just little feats, he won the Wimbledon championship, the Olympics championship, and also ATP World Tour Finals. Murray completed his career best year on a 26 game winning streak. Murray is also a big name to look at for the 2017 year as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Ezekiel Elliott, NFL: Ezekiel Elliott who’s just 21 years old, ran over and demolished the NFL during his rookie campaign. A fourth overall pick out of Ohio State, Elliot’s skill led the Cowboys to jump out to a 10-1 record, ending 13-3. Elliott and his rookie counterpart Dak Prescott found their way to a first round bye and then a 34-31 loss to the Packers in the NFC Divisional round. Elliott ran for 1,631 yards this season and added 15 touchdown. His yards per carry average was 5.1. He also added 363 yards receiving and one additional touchdown as well. Elliott’s success is certainly something to be proud of, but I believe Elliott should give a lot of credit to his superb offensive line. He was named to the 2016 Pro Bowl and a first team All-Pro. Elliott was also the league’s leading rusher and named to the Pro Football Writer’s Association All-Rookie team. This season Elliott was also named the prestigious, NFL offensive rookie of the year. His name is still in the running for this year’s league MVP. I wouldn’t expect anything less out of Elliot next year as he hopes not only to lead the Cowboys back to the playoffs, but this time to the Super Bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Patrick Kane, NHL: Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane dominated the NHL last season. Kane’s incredible 2015-16 season included a 26-game points streak that set a franchise record and is the longest by an American in history. He led the Blackhawks to a 47-26-9 record. The 27-year-old finished with career highs of 46 goals, 60 assists and 106 points to become the first U.S. born player to lead the league in scoring. Now he is the first American-born and trained player to capture the Hart trophy, the league’s most valuable player, establishing Kane as one of the greatest hockey players from the United States ever. The Blackhawks winger secured 121 first-place votes and 1,395 points The next closest competitor was Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby who was 595 points behind Kane and only had 11 first-place votes. Those results certainly reflect what was true of Kane on the ice. He was by far the best player in the entire NHL this season. Kane, 27, has been a 3 time NHL champion and an incredible player and I don’t expect much to be different in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Kris Bryant, MLB: Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant has been voted the National League MVP, capping off a historic season for the 24-year-old star. Bryant received 29 of a possible 30 first-place votes a year after being named NL Rookie of the Year. He was named NL MVP for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. Bryant is arguably the biggest offensive threat in all of baseball. He also showed his skill and versatility with his glove. He hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs in just his second year in the majors leading the Cubs to a 103-58 regular season record. Bryant certainly was a big piece in helping the Cubs win their first World Series title since 1908. Bryant continued to improve his numbers from last year dropping his strikeout percentage from 31% to 22%. He ranked third in the NL in home runs (39), fourth in OPS (.939) and sixth in RBIs (102). Bryant is a very fun to watch, when he reaches the plate it is always a must watch moment. His ability to play infield and outfield at the professional level is a feat in itself. Bryant has incredible talent and I don’t expect anything less in the upcoming years. Look to see all of Bryant’s numbers improve next season.

1. Steph Curry, NBA: Steph Curry is a 28 year old, professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors who dominated the NBA in the 2015-2016 season. Steph Curry is known for his 3 point shooting ability. His father, Dell Curry was also a sharpshooter in the NBA when he played. Curry became the first ever unanimous MVP in basketball history receiving 130 of 130 first place votes, winning this award for the second straight season. Curry led the Warriors to a record setting 24-0 start. He also led the Warriors to a 73-9 regular season record, beating the 92-93 Bulls 72-10 record as the winningest regular season in NBA history. Curry is the first player in league history at any position to average 30 points per game in less than 35 minutes per game over a full season. Curry made 402 3-pointers, beating his own single-season NBA record of 286, which he set last season. He also joined Steve Nash and his own coach, Steve Kerr, as the only players in league history to shoot at least 50 percent from the floor, 45 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the line in a season. Curry dominated the NBA and he was certainly fun to watch. Despite losing in the finals to the Cavs, Curry has changed the game by furthering the importance of the 3 point line. Steph is a big name to watch in 2017, although his numbers may go down due to the arrival of another superstar to an already stacked team

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Top 5 Athletes of 2016