20 fun facts about sports dads
Photo credit: AP | Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets watches his three-run home run off of Houston Astros pitcher Bob Knepper in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series in New York. (Oct. 11, 1986)
In honor of Fathers Day, dads whose children became accomplished athletes in different sports:
1 Former New York Net Julius Erving is one of basketball’s alltime greats. His daughter, Alexandra Stevenson, is a professional tennis player. Her highest ranking was 18th, in 2002.
2 Earl Woods played baseball at Kansas State and broke the Big Eight Conference “color barrier" in baseball in 1951. His son, Tiger Woods, plays golf.
3 Fred McGriff played for seven major-league clubs and hit 493 home runs. His son, Erick, is a wide receiver for the Kansas Jayhawks.
4 Steve Patrick was a lineman during one of the greatest eras of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His sons, James and Steve Jr., are both former NHLers who spent time with the Rangers.
5 The late Alan Wiggins played seven years in the major leagues for the Padres and Orioles. His daughter, Candice, is a guard for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.
6 Six-time NBA All-Star Adrian Dantley averaged 24.3 points in his career. His son, Cameron, played quarterback at Syracuse.
7 Gary Spani was a linebacker for the Chiefs for nine seasons. His daughter, Taber, is a guard on the Tennessee basketball team.
8. Mike Conley Sr. won Olympic gold (1992) and silver (1984) medals in the triple jump and long jump, respectively. Mike Conley Jr. is a guard with the Memphis Grizzlies.
9. Ken Norton was a WBC heavyweight champion. Ken Norton Jr. was a linebacker for the Cowboys and 49ers.
10. Yannick Noah won the French Open in 1983. Joakim Noah plays for the Chicago Bulls.
11. Calvin Hill was a star running back for three NFL teams. Grant Hill has been in the NBA since 1994 and has also played for three teams.
12. Kyle Rote played 11 seasons for the New York Football Giants. Kyle Rote Jr. led the NASL in scoring in 1973 and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
13. Mark Schlereth played guard in the NFL for 12 seasons. Daniel currently pitches for the Detroit Tigers.
14. Jim Perry won the Cy Young Award with the Twins in 1970 and earned 215 victories during his major-league career. Chris Perry played on the PGA Tour and won the 1998 B.C. Open.
15. Lleyton Hewitt held the No. 1 ranking in the world and won Wimbledon (2001) and the U.S Open (2002). His father, Glynn, was a prolific player in Australian Rules Football.
16. Wayne Gretzky’s name is synonomous with hockey. His son, Trevor, was recently drafted this month by the Chicago Cubs as a first baseman.
17. Darryl Strawberry played for four major-league teams, including stints with the Mets and Yankees. Son D.J. was picked by Phoenix in the 2007 NBA draft and is currently playing in Europe.
18. Bill Cowher played linebacker in the NFL and won a Super Bowl as the Steelers coach in the 2005 season. His daughters — Meagan, Lauren and Lindsay — all played college basketball.
19. Rafer Johnson won Olympic decathlon gold in Rome. His daughter, Jennifer, competed in beach volleyball at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
20. Great Neck’s Sarah Hughes won Olympic gold in women’s figure skating (2002). Her father, John, was captain of Cornell’s NCAA champion ice hockey team (1969-70).
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