Today our blog focuses on the success stories of the college athletes who turned pro. We focus on golf, athletics, soccer, swimming and tennis athletes as those are some of the sports we specialise in. You will learn about the difficulties race had on athletes as well as some other hardships these college athletes had to face to succeed in their sport codes. The blog also gives us a brief history on what these athletes achieved while at their respective colleges.
1. Golf - Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one of the most recognisable household names whether it be for good reasons or bad. He is undoubtedly one of the greats in the game of Golf but not many people know about the two years he spent at Stanford University and that he was a student-athlete. During his two-year stint at Stanford, Tiger won many tournaments as well as winning the Stanford Male Freshman of the Year award, the Pac-10 Player of the year, and he was named an NCAA First Team All-American. Realising his potential, Tiger turned pro after only two years in college and the rest is History.
Other notable college golfers:
Arnold Palmer - Wake Forest University
Jordan Spieth - University of Texas
Phil Mickelson - Arizona State University
Bubba Watson - University of Georgia
2. Swimming - Ryan Lochte
When you think of great USA swimmers, people often think of Olympians like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Michael Phelps attended the University of Michigan but was not allowed to swim as he already had an endorsement with Speedo, which is banned by the NCAA. Ryan Lochte did attend college and is often referred to as "Michael Phelps' shadow"; however, Lochte still has a very impressive swimming CV, which he has carried through since his college days where he swam for the University of Florida. The Olympian's college records’ speak for themselves, as he was a seven-time NCAA champion, seven-time SEC champion and an All-American an impressive 24 times while at the University of Florida. Most recently, he made stunning headlines for his bad behaviour at the 2016 Rio Olympics that did not go according to plan.
Other notable college swimmers:
Missy Franklin - University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Schooling - University of Texas
Katie Ledecky - Stanford University
Janet Evans - University of Southern California
3. Track & Field - Jesse Owens
One of the few good memories from the Nazi German era was the four gold medals Jesse Owens won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics much to Hitler’s annoyance. Owens will be forever remembered for defying the odds and never giving up. He had a very successful college Athletics career at Ohio State University even though he had to deal with all the hardships of being a black person during that time. He had to stay in Blacks only hotels away from the rest of the team, eat at blacks only restaurants and he even had to have a job to pay for his education because black people were not awarded scholarships. Taking all of this into account he still managed to win a record 8 individual NCAA championships as well as break 3 World Records and tie a 4th while attending Ohio State University.
Other notable college Track and Field athletes:
Tyson Gay - University of Arkansas
Allyson Felix - University of Southern California
Monique Henderson - University of California, Los Angeles
Kerron Clement - University of Florida
4. Tennis - John McEnroe
McEnroe attended Stanford University on a tennis scholarship after becoming the youngest player ever to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon. He had a short but effective spell with the Cardinals where he guided the team to an NCAA championship. After only spending one year in college, McEnroe became a full time professional. "He is a young man who raised perfectly placed strokes to a high art form, only to resort to tantrums that smear his masterpieces like graffiti." This is how Pete Axthelm described the famous John McEnroe.
Other notable college tennis players:
Jimmy Connors - University of California, Los Angeles
Arthur Ashe - University of California, Los Angeles
Lisa Raymond - University of Florida
The Bryan Brothers - Stanford University
5. Soccer - Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey had a tough time getting to where he is today. Growing up in a trailer park and having no financial support from his parents, Dempsey thought his soccer career was over until his younger sister passed away. This tragedy inspired Dempsey to pursue a career in soccer. He attended Furham University where he was a crucial member of the Paladins side. During his three seasons at the University, he helped the side win two NCAA Championships where he scored 17 goals and made 19 assists.
Other notable college soccer players:
Hope Solo - University of Washington
Carlos Bocanegra - University of California, Los Angeles
Stuart Holden - Clemson University
Alexi Lalas - Rutgers University
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