sports Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

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List Rules Only two-sport athletes who could have been superstars in both sports

Famous athletes who could have dominated a second sport tell the story of men and women with so much athletic ability that they shouldn't be limited to being the best at just one sport when they could easily find success in several sports. Many athletes have tried to become successful two-sport athletes and few have succeeded but dozens more have the potential.

This list isn't about the notable two-sport athletes like Deion Sanders, who won both the Super Bowl and a World Series, or Hershel Walker, who won the Heisman Trophy, appeared in the Winter Olympics in bobsled and competed in mixed martial arts, or Michael Jordan, who returned after retiring from the NBA to play in the MLB, or Bo Jackson, who enjoyed success playing professional football and baseball during his career. This list is about the athletes who despite having the talent to dominate two sports, stuck to one and became one of the best to ever play.

For many athletes, this choice between two sports was an early one. Tom Brady for instance was selected in the MLB Draft but declined to play football. His three Super Bowl rings and numerous NFL records show he made a wise choice. Kirk Gibson was one of the best wide receivers in NCAA Football but chose the MLB contract offer over the one from the NFL. He went on to win two World Series and is still active as a highly successful MLB manager. Wilt Chamberlain had the choice of track, basketball, volleyball, boxing and football in his early years. He picked basketball and for that is now a household name.

These big names and so many more from professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other sports could have easily dominated a second sport. For one reason or another they made the tough decision to focus on one primary sport and in many cases went on to become legends in that sport. It would be tough to think that they regret the decision but one they certainly look back upon and wonder "what if?"

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Bo Jackson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Bo Jackson age 53

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Deion Sanders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Deion Sanders age 48

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LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
LeBron James age 31 - Played football in high school before his historic NBA career

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Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Wilt Chamberlain Died at 63 (1936-1999) - Before becoming a legend in the NBA, he was sought after by nearly every sport from track, volleyball, boxing and football

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Jim Brown is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jim Brown age 79 - College letterman in Football, Baseball, Lacrosse and Track

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Usain Bolt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Usain Bolt age 29

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Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Tony Gonzalez age 39 - Dominated college football and basketball, including playing in the 1997 Sweet Sixteen, before enjoying a successful professional football career

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Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Steve Nash age 41 - Could be playing soccer in the MLS

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Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Allen Iverson age 40 - Earned all-state honors in high school football playing quarterback before joining the National Basketball Association

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John Elway is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
John Elway age 55 - Spent time in the minors for the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals before going on to become one of the best football players ever

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Russell Wilson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

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Antonio Gates is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Antonio Gates age 35 - Played basketball at Kent State before joining the Chargers

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Brock Lesnar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Brock Lesnar age 38 - In addition to spending time in professional wrestling, he once made the roster for the Minnesota Vikings

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Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Hakeem Olajuwon age 52 - Started a promising soccer career in his native Nigeria before coming to the United States to play basketball

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Jim Thorpe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jim Thorpe Died at 65 (1888-1953)

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Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

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Herschel Walker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

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Ray Lewis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Ray Lewis age 40 - Boxing Legend Bert Sugar claimed that the heavyweight division is lacking because athletes who historically would become boxing's stars in the premier division now go to other sports. He said that the best two heavyweight boxers in ...

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Julius Peppers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Julius Peppers age 35 - Played college basketball at North Carolina

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Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Tim Duncan age 39 - Planned to compete in swimming in the Summer Olympics but after his pool was destroyed by a hurricane, focused his energy on basketball

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Nate Robinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Nate Robinson age 30 - Plays in the NBA, but was an All-American football player at the University of Washington

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Eric Decker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Eric Decker age 28 - Drafted twice into Major League Baseball but declined to play in the NFL

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Jesse Owens is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jesse Owens Died at 67 (1913-1980)

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Dave Winfield is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Dave Winfield age 64 - Baseball HoFer was also a star basketball player at U of Minnesota. Coach Bill Musselman called him the best rebounder he's ever seen.

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Tom Glavine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Tom Glavine age 49 - Selected in the NHL Draft (two rounds before Brett Hull) but declined and went on to enjoy a storied career in professional baseball

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Otto Graham is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Otto Graham Died at 82 (1921-2003) - Went to Northwestern on a basketball scholarship before discovering football.  Played one season (1945-46) for the Rochester Royals in the NBL before joining the Cleveland Browns in the fall of 1946.

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Marion Jones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Marion Jones age 40 - Succeeded in college basketball and was drafted into the WNBA while enjoying a long Olympic track and field career

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Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Tom Brady age 38 - Drafted into the MLB, gave that up and went on to earn three Super Bowl rings in the National Football League

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Brian Urlacher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Brian Urlacher age 37 - Boxing Legend Bert Sugar claimed that the heavyweight division is lacking because athletes who historically would become boxing's stars in the premier division now go to other sports. He said that the best two heavyweight boxers in ...

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Danny Ainge is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Danny Ainge age 58 - Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in baseball, played for the Celtics

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Kirk Gibson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Kirk Gibson age 58 - Before he was a baseball legend he was earning All-American honors playing wide receiver in NCAA Football

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Dan Marino is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Dan Marino age 54 - Declined a fourth-round offer in the 1979 MLB draft to play NCAA Football and set the stage to later become an NFL legend

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Donovan McNabb is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Donovan McNabb age 39 - Enjoyed success playing NCAA Basketball at Syracuse before giving up the round ball for the Super Bowl and spending several years in the NFL

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Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Dirk Nowitzki age 37

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Bill Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Bill Goldberg age 49 - Could have played for the Vikings.

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Pat White is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Pat White age 29 - Selected four times in the MLB Draft and even signed with the Kansas City Royals after he was cut from the Miami Dolphins in the NFL

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Willie Gault is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Willie Gault age 55

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Mark Henry is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Mark Henry age 44 - Before he was a WWE superstar, Henry was an Olympic weightlifter

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Jackie Robinson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jackie Robinson Died at 53 (1919-1972)

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Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport

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Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Kobe Bryant age 37

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Dave DeBusschere is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Dave DeBusschere Died at 63 (1940-2003)

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Jay Ajayi is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jay Ajayi had a chance to play on the nigerian national soccer team. very athletic

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George Halas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
George Halas Died at 88 (1895-1983) - The now-NFL legend for his leadership with the Chicago Bears once played pro baseball and was replaced by none other than Babe Ruth

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Ben Roethlisberger is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Ben Roethlisberger age 33 - Was an outstanding basketball and baseball player in his high school and college career.

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Daunte Culpepper is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Daunte Culpepper age 38 - Dominated basketball in high school, went on to become a three-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL

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A B De Villiers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
A B De Villiers

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Jay Berwanger is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Jay Berwanger Died at 88 (1914-2002) - Won the Heisman Trophy in college football, could have dominated professional track and field

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Pat Riley is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Pat Riley age 72 - Selected in the 1967 NFL Draft and the 1967 NBA Draft and played several seasons in the NBA before becoming one of the best basketball coaches of all time

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Joe Nieuwendyk is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Athletes Who Could Have Dominated a Second Sport
Joe Nieuwendyk age 49 - Won a championship in junior lacrosse before embarking on a successful career in the NHL