- Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder – NBA): To start off the list, we have a basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA. In 2017, Westbrook had one of the greatest individual seasons ever as he averaged a triple double on the season with 31.6 points per game, 10.7 points per game, and 10.4 assists per game. Due to his performance during the season, Westbrook was named a starter in the NBA All-Star Game, an All-NBA First Teamer, and won the coveted Most Valuable Player award.
- Jose Altuve (Houston Astros – MLB): This 5’6” Venezuelan also had one of the greatest individual seasons of the decade as he had a batting average of .346, had 24 home runs, and added 84 RBIs. Altuve also led the Houston Astros to a World Series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, their first in
franchise history. Along with his championship hardware, Altuve won AL MVP, a fourth Silver Slugger Award, and the Hank Aaron Award.
- Aaron Judge (New York Yankees – MLB): Judge, a 6’7” outfielder, played his first season in the MLB and kicked it off with a Hall of Fame-esque start. Judge broke the rookie home run record by three as he allocated 52 over the season and led the MLB in total walks with 127. Despite this amazing campaign, the Yankees came up short to Altuve and the Astros, losing to Houston in the ALDS. Judge finished the season with the AL Rookie of the Year award, an All-Star appearance, and was the Home Run Derby champion.
- Shalane Flanagan (Runner): Shalane Flanagan was a former silver medalist in the 2008 Olympics but a certain race definitely propelled Flanagan’s 2017 campaign above the rest. In February, Flanagan suffered a fracture in her back and withdrew from the Boston Marathon, but her rebound in November was monumental. On November 5, Flanagan won the New York City Marathon becoming the first American woman to do so since 1977 with an outstanding time of 2:26:53.
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors – NBA): While leading the league in total three-pointers, Stephen Curry had a terrific 2017 campaign. During the 2016-2017 season, Curry was named to his 4th All-Star Game, was named to the All-NBA Second Team (behind Russell Westbrook), and ended up leading the Warriors to their second NBA championship in three years. So far in the 2017-2018 season, Curry has been phenomenal as his 26.1 points per game, 6.4 assists per game, and 5.2 rebounds per game earned Curry a record 5 year/$201,000,000 contract.
- Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma Sooners – NCAAF): Baker Mayfield, an Austin native, is the loan collegiate player on this list and is a stellar quarterback for the 12-1 Oklahoma Sooners, a contender for the National Championship. He is also the Heisman Trophy winner and is a projected 1st round pick in the NFL draft. Mayfield has numbers to back this up as well as he has (so far) 4,340 yards, 41 touchdowns, all on 71% completion percentage. Mayfield may have also had the game of the year as he had 598 yards and 5 touchdowns against state rival, Oklahoma State.
- Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles – NFL): In only his second season Carson Wentz has lead the Philadelphia Eagles to an NFL best 12-2 record and has thrown for a league best 29 touchdowns along with 3,005 yards through the air. His play had Wentz as the front-runner for the MVP and the front-runner for the NFL Pro-Bowl at the quarterback position up until he tore his ACL in a win over a strong Rams team. Along with these stats, Wentz earned the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for the month of October. With 2 games left, experienced back-up Nick Foles and the Eagles look to get ready for playoff contention as they clinched a NFC playoff berth when they beat the struggling Chicago Bears 31-3.
- Sue Bird (Seattle Storm – WNBA): Sue Bird truly lives up to the age long saying, “ages like fine wine,” as she just completed her 15th season in the WNBA. This year, Bird finished second in the league in assists at 6.6 per game and ninth in 3-point percentage at 39.3%. These averages earned Bird her 10th WNBA All-Star Game appearance as she scored 8 points and dished out 11 assists at the event. These statistics and accomplishments may seem mind-blowing but Bird’s biggest accomplishment will have her remembered forever. On September 1, 2017, Sue Bird passed WNBA legend Ticha Penicheiro for the most assists in WNBA history at 2,600.
- Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx – WNBA): Sylvia Fowles, despite being
towards the tail-end of her career, had an amazing season for the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. Fowles averaged 18.9 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game while shooting a league-best 65% from the field. Due to her fantastic leadership and overall dominance of the game Fowles was awarded the WNBA Most Valuable Player award and due to a stellar WNBA finals game 5 victory (17 points, 20 rebounds), she was awarded the WNBA Finals MVP as well. She also was named to the All-WNBA First Team and was selected to her 4th WNBA All-Star Game in 9 years.
- Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers – NHL): Just like Carson Wentz, Connor McDavid had a breakout second year as he earned an NHL All-Star Game appearance, the Ted Lindsay Award, the Hart Memorial Trophy, and the coveted Art Ross Trophy. The reasoning behind these awards points to one thing, production. For the Oilers, McDavid led the NHL in both total points (100), assists (70), and added 30 goals on the season as well. He also led Edmonton to the playoffs as he scored 9 points in 13 games.
Written by Rigley Willis