by Ryan Duvall ‘21
LeBron James, Mike Trout, Tom Brady … we know their names because they are icons in their respective sports. However, as these superstars continue to age we wonder who will replace them and become the next iconic athlete in the American sports world. Could it be a quarterback produced by Oklahoma, a freak of nature basketball player, or the most hyped up baseball prospect since Bryce Harper? These are some best bets.
In 2018, Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield led his team to the College Football Playoff while winning the prestigious Heisman award. Mayfield then was made the first overall selection in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, a team known for losing. This all changed when Mayfield ended their 635-day losing streak in a win against the New York Jets. Cleveland ended up going 7-8-1 with Mayfield tossing a rookie record 27 touchdowns. He may be a little too cocky, but every superstar needs a little flair. Another Sooner who could be a candidate is Kyler Murray, who was just taken number one in the 2019 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He could break the mold with his flashy running ability and precise passing.
Next on the list is Giannis Antetokounmpo, better known as the Greek Freak. The Milwaukee Bucks power forward is a physical phenomenon. He stands at 6’11 and runs like a point guard, making him very hard for defenses to handle. At 24 years old Antetokounmpo has already made three all-star games, and is expected to win this year’s MVP award. He has taken the Bucks to a whole new level this season, as they have the best record in the NBA and swept the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs. In ten years we could be debating if he’s better than LeBron.
Last but certainly not least is the number one prospect in the MLB, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Guerrero’s father Vlad Sr. is an MLB Hall Of Famer, so Guerrero has been molded into a baseball player since birth. He had a monster year in the minors last season, and is seen as the prime American League Rookie of The Year candidate. Guerrero has recently been called up to the majors, so we will soon see if he can live up to the hype that has been given to him.
These young athletes have the ability to become the next big thing in their sports, but only time will tell if they can achieve the greatness that will make them an icon.