Greg Paulus is trying to become a two-sport athlete. Greg Paulus's collegiate basketball career has ended. He has decided to pursue a college football career. He is not the first athlete talented enough to play two sports at a high level. There have been several athletes whom have played two or more sports at the college or professional level. Yet, athletes are becoming more specialized and there are not many athletes that compete in more than one sport in college or the pros. However, there still has been many athletes from 1980s to the present that have played two sports or more? Who are the best multi-sports athletes in this era?
#5 Danny Ainge
Danny Ainge was a two-sport athlete. He is known more for his NBA career than his MLB career. But, he is still one of only a select few that have played in both the MLB and NBA. He played professionally for the NBA and MLB. He always was talented at a wide variety of sports. He is still only person to ever be a high school first time All- American in football, basketball and baseball. He was drafted in 1977 by Toronto Blue Jays. He made his MLB debut in 1979 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a short baseball career. Danny Ainge decided to retire from baseball after three years. He decided to pursue a career in professional basketball. He was drafted by Boston Celtics in 1981 NBA draft. He became an important part of the Boston Celtics championship teams. He played alongside NBA legends Larry Bird and Dennis Johnson. He was on the 1983-84 Boston Celtics that won the NBA title. Equally important, he was a great three point shooter. He is the second man ever to hit 900 three pointers in his career (http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Danny_Ainge).
#4 Brian Jordan
He was a multi-talented professional athlete. He played in the MLB and the NFL. He was drafted into the MLB in 1988 by the St. Louis Cardinals. Then, the Atlanta Falcons signed him. He played for the Falcons from 1989 to 1991. He had an five sacks and four interceptions in his short NFL career. He was third in the NFL in tackles in 1990. He also was named to the NFL's All-Pro team in 1990. He was a good football player. But, he decided to quit football to focus on baseball. He thought that he would have a longer career in baseball then in football because there is a lower risk of serious injury in professional baseball. (findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_11_54/ai_55553256/). He made his MLB debut in 1992. He made the all-star team in 1999. He also had a great year in 1997-98 season. The 1997-1998 season he had a .316 batting average, 25 home runs and 91 RBIs (findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_11_54/ai_55553256/). Equally important, he had his only World Series appearance in 1996.
#3 Charlie Ward
Charlie Ward played basketball and football at Florida State University. Yet, he chooses
a professional basketball career over a professional football career. But, no one will ever forget his exploits on the football field. He had a phenomenal college football career. He led the 1993 Florida State football team to the national championship as their quarterback with their victory over Nebraska. He also won the 1993 Heisman trophy award too. He had a great senior year with 3,032 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and 69.5 completion percentage (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Ward). His collegiate career has led him to be inducted into the college football hall of fame in 2006. However, he never pursued a professional football career. He did still get an offer from the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs to play backup for Joe Montana during his NBA career. But, he declined the offer. He decided to quit football and to pursue a professional basketball career. Even though many thoughts that his best sport was football. But, this also happened because he would not consider playing in NFL if he was not chosen in the first round of the NFL draft. Teams did not want to take a chance on someone that may decide to choose the NBA over the NFL. Thus, he was drafted in 1994 by New York Knicks with 26th overall pick in the first round. He also actually was drafted by NY Yankees in MLB draft too (www.usafootball.com/articles/displayArticle/6644/7359). He declined the Yankees offer. He was known in the NBA for his good three point shooting skills, excellent ball handling skills and being a good floor leader. He finished fourth in the 1998 NBA three point competition. He had a decent 11 year NBA career.
#2 Bo Jackson
Bo Jackson was a great athlete. He dominated any sport that he played. He was the first athlete ever to be an all-star in two major sports. He played professional football and baseball. He was a very good football player. He rushed for 1,786 yards his senior year for the Auburn Tigers (sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college). His senior rushing total of 1,786 was second in SEC history behind Herschel Walker's 1,891 yards (sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college). He also won the Heisman trophy in 1985. Likewise, he was ranked as the eighth best college player in football history by ESPN. He was an amazing athlete that ran the 40 yard dash in a record time of 4.14. His 40 yard dash time of 4.14 is the fourth fastest in NFL history. Ted Ginn Jr. 4.06, Alexander Wright 4.09 and Michael Bennett 4.13 are the only men to run faster times (wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_the_fastest_40_yard_dash_time). He had a few good seasons for the LA Raiders in the NFL until he had a serious hip injury that ended his football career. However, he continued his baseball career after rehabilitation for the injury. He had a good baseball career too. He made the MLB American League all-star team in 1989. He also was named the all-star game's MVP. He was named comeback player of the year in 1993. There were other sports that he had some success too. He had a successful track career in high school. He was a two time state champion in decathlon. He also played semi-pro basketball for a team in Los Angeles for a couple of months. He possible could have been the greatest multi-sport athlete ever if he did not injury his hip.
#1 Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders has many talents. He was always an eclectic athlete. ESPN SportsCentury named him the 74th greatest athlete of the century in 1999. He played professional football and baseball. He is still the only man ever to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series. He once scored a touchdown and home run in the same week. He had several interesting feats as an athlete. For instance, he once played the first game of a baseball doubleheader, ran a leg of 4 X 100 relay, then returned to play the rest of the doubleheader in the same day. Equally important, he had a great football career. He is considered one of the greatest cornerbacks of all-time. He was a shutdown corner. Quarterbacks were afraid to throw to his side of the field. He had many accomplishments in his football career. He won two Super Bowls in his career. He won a Super Bowl in the 1994-95 season with San Fransciso 49ers. He also won a Super Bowl in the 1995-96 season with the Dallas Cowboys. Likewise, he was the first two-way starter in the NFL since Chuck Bednarik in 1949. He also was a good kick returner and punt returner. He had the great speed. He ran the fifth fastest 40 yard dash time ever at 4.16. He had loved playing baseball. He was drafted by the NY Yankees. He also played for the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds in his baseball career. He had a batting average of .533 in the 1992 world series with the Atlanta Braves (www.baseball-almanac.com). He was great at stealing bases. He had 56 stolen bases in 115 games in the 1997 season (http://www.allsports.com/players/deion-sanders)
3 May 2009 http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Danny_Ainge
3 May 2009 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_11_54/ai_55553256/
3 May 2009 http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_the_fastest_40_yard_dash_time>
3 May 2009 http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/yr1992ws.shtml?
3 May 2009 http://www.allsports.com/players/deion-sanders/
3 May 2009 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college/heisman/news/2000/11/04/bo_jackson/
3 May 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Ward
3 May 2009 http://www.usafootball.com/articles/displayArticle/6644/7359