Top 3 Athletes Under 21
Any rise to stardom alleviates an uncanny amount of pressure, especially when you’re under 21 years old and are already drawing comparisons to the legends that dominated every stat line in the sport. You either make it, or break it and it’s evident that young phenoms don’t always reach their anticipated potential. You’ve probably seen them make their mark in SportsCenter’s top 10 plays, or haven’t heard their name at all, either way, get familiar with these top five athletes under 20 years old as they make their ways to the top of their leagues.
At 19 years old, Juan Agudelo is labeled as USA’s next best striker. His presence on the soccer field is something the national team hasn’t seen in years: strength, speed, power and skill and the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Signing a professional contract with the New York Red Bulls at age 17, and has already tallied 15 appearances with the senior national team and 30 appearances with the Red Bulls. Look out for him as he represents the U.S. Men’s U-23 team in the London Olympic qualifiers.
Any college basketball player that confronts a 6 foot 10 inch player with a 7’3 wingspan will probably want to pass the ball away. And that’s exactly what Anthony Davis’ presence brings to the Kentucky Wildcats on the hardwood. The long boundaries of defense he creates and his extraordinary ability to finish at the basket make him one of NBA’s top prospects at age 19. Still in his freshman year, Davis is averaging 14.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game. Not to mention, he has has already set the SEC record for most blocked shots by a freshman, passing Shaquille O’ Neal at 116 and is currently leading the Wildcats to the final four.
Arguably Europe’s best basketball product since Dirk Nowitzki, Ricky Rubio has already established himself as one of the leagues most creative point guards. His fluent handles, expanded vision of the court and ability to shoot the basketball from anywhere on the court has revitalized basketball excitement in Minnesota. Drafted 5th overall in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Rubio has carried the Timberwolves with 10.6 points and 8.2 assists per game, consistently delivering alley-oops and spreading out the court alongside all-star forward Kevin Love. Even though he is out for the season with a torn ACL, look out for him to be NBA’s premier point guards.