Notable sports figures from Westchester and the Hudson Valley
Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley have produced many big-time sports stars and notable sports figures. Here is a look at some of them.
HILTON ARMSTRONG: Armstrong, who was born and raised in Peekskill, has played five seasons in the NBA for the New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks. (Dec. 22, 2007)
JAMES BLAKE: Blake, who was born in Yonkers, has been ranked as high as fourth in the world -- and first among Americans. The former Harvard student reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2005 and 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. (Sept. 3, 2009)
RALPH BRANCA: Branca, who is from Mount Vernon, spent 12 seasons as a major-league pitcher and was a three-time All-Star. Of course, the former Brooklyn Dodger is best known for allowing Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard ‘Round the World" that lifted the Giants to the National League pennant in 1951. (Aug. 11, 2004)
ELTON BRAND: Brand led Peekskill High School to two state championships before being named the National Player of the Year at Duke University. During his 14-year NBA career, Brand has averaged nearly 18 points per game and is a two-time All-Star. (Feb. 17, 2012)
EDSON BUDDLE: Buddle (11), who was born in New Rochelle and played at Port Chester High School, has played for 11 seasons in Major League Soccer and was a member of the U.S. World Cup team in 2010. (Nov. 15, 2011)
KEITH BULLUCK: Bulluck played at Clarkstown North High School before embarking on an 11-year career as an NFL linebacker — all but one with the Tennessee Titans. In 2003, Bulluck was selected to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team. (Nov. 1, 2009)
MARTY CONLON: Conlon, who is from White Plains and attended Archbishop Stepinac High School, played nine seasons in the NBA for eight teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics. (Dec. 22, 1996)
ABNER DOUBLEDAY: Abner Doubleday is often credited as the person who invented baseball while a cadet at West Point in 1839. Many baseball historians, however, have disputed this claim.
DAMION EASLEY: Easley, who spent part of his childhood living in Mount Vernon, played for six major-league teams from 1992 to 2008, including the Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers and Mets. Easley, a 1998 All-Star who was known more for being a solid defensive second baseman, batted .253 with 163 career home runs during his career. (July 11, 2008)
JOHN FLAHERTY: Flaherty, who grew up in West Nyack, spent 14 years (1992-2005) as a major-league catcher with Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay and the Yankees. Now a color analyst for Yankees games on the YES Network, Flaherty founded the Rockland Boulders independent league baseball team in 2011.
DAVE FLEMING: A former standout at Mahopac High School, Fleming spent four seasons in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals before injuries prematurely ended his career. During his 1992 rookie season in Seattle, he won 17 games. Fleming is shown here pitching for the Yankees in a spring training game. (Feb. 28, 1998)
MEAGHAN FRANCELLA: Francella was born in Port Chester and attended the School of the Holy Child in Rye before becoming an All-American at the University of North Carolina. Known for the wild pants she wears on the golf course, Francella edged out LPGA great Annika Sorenstam in 2007 to win the MasterCard Classic in Mexico City. (Sept. 15, 2011)
CHANNING FRYE: Frye, who was born in White Plains, has played for the Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns. As a member of the Knicks in 2005-06, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. (Feb. 13, 2012)
BEN GORDON: Gordon starred at Mount Vernon High School before embarking on a successful career at the University of Connecticut. As a rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 2004-05, Gordon was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. (Feb. 15, 2012)
LINDSAY GOTTLIEB: A Scarsdale native, Gottlieb was named head coach of the University of California women's basketball team in 2008. Gottlieb, who played at Brown, led the Golden Bears to the Final Four in 2013. (April 7, 2013)
RYAN GRANT: Grant was born in Suffern and grew up in Nyack. He spent most of his high school years at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey, although he attended Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack for one year. As a member of the Green Bay Packers, Grant rushed for more than 1,200 yards in 2008 and 2009. (Dec. 18, 2011)
RICHIE GUERIN: Guerin played for Iona College before embarking on a 13-year NBA career. A six-time All-Star guard, Guerin played for the Knicks and St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks from 1956 to 1970. In 2013, he was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (June 28, 1963)
BRANDON HEPBURN: Hepburn, a linebacker who played at North Rockland High School and Florida A&M, was selected by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Aside from his football talent, Hepburn, who graduated in biochemistry, was a member of the National Honor Society and even discovered a way to kill certain cancer cells in rats. (Feb. 25, 2013)
BOB HYLAND: Hyland was an NFL offensive lineman for 11 seasons, playing for the Packers, Bears, Giants and New England Patriots. He was a member of Green Bay's Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II championship teams. Hyland was born in White Plains, attended Archbishop Stepinac High School and owns the Sports Page Pub in White Plains.
BRUCE JENNER: The Mount Kisco native won the gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. Of course, younger generations are more likely to identify him as the stepdad to the Kardashian sisters. (Jan. 23, 2012)
KEVIN JONES: Kevin Jones was a Parade All-American at Mount Vernon High School, winning two state championships with the powerhouse program before playing for West Virginia and the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Jan. 7, 2013)
SETH JOYNER: Seth Joyner, who played at Spring Valley High School, enjoyed a 13-year career as an NFL linebacker and was named to the Pro Bowl three times in the early 1990s. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos.
JIMMY KENNEDY: Kennedy, who was a high school All-American at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, has played 10 seasons in the NFL and was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI championship team. (Sept. 11, 2011)
REED KESSLER: At 18 years old in 2012, the Armonk native became the youngest equestrian show jumper in U.S. Olympic history. (May 14, 2012)
TOM KOEHLER: A New Rochelle High School product, Koehler returned to the Miami Marlins in 2013 after being a September call-up who pitched in eight games in 2012. (March 7, 2012)
MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: The longtime Duke basketball coach is a former Army point guard and served as the academy's head coach from 1975 to 1980. He has led the Blue Devils to four national championships and has more wins than any other Division I coach in history. (Nov. 13, 2012)
DENNIS LEONARD: An Iona alum, Leonard, who played his entire 12-year career with the Kansas City Royals, was one of baseball's top pitchers in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a three-time 20-game winner and played in the 1980 World Series.
SCOTT MACHADO: The former Iona star finished as the Gaels' and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's all-time leader in assists with 880. He signed with the Houston Rockets in 2012. (March 13, 2012)
BRENDAN MALONE: Iona alum Brendan Malone served as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors in 1995-96 and as the interim head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2004-05. He also was the head coach at the University of Rhode Island. (Nov. 7, 1995)
JOHN MARA: The Giants' co-owner attended Iona Prep and lives in Bedford. (May 11, 2012)
DARIN MASTROIANNI: A Mount Kisco native and Fox Lane High School alum, Mastroianni stole 21 bases during his 2012 rookie season with the Minnesota Twins. (March 11, 2013)
DEVIN MCCOURTY: McCourty (32), a cornerback from Nyack, earned a spot in the 2010 Pro Bowl after intercepting seven passes as a rookie and played in Super Bowl XLVI in January 2012. Devin McCourty and his twin brother, Jason, played together at Rutgers. (Jan. 2, 2012)
RODNEY McCRAY: A former Mount Vernon High School player, McCray spent 10 seasons in the NBA with Houston, Sacramento, Dallas and Chicago. He was a member of the Bulls' 1993 world championship team. He also won a national championship in college at Louisville in 1980.
ART MONK: Monk, who was born in White Plains and played for White Plains High School, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 after he amassed 940 receptions, 12,721 yards and 68 touchdowns during his 16-year NFL career, most of which he spent with the Washington Redskins. He was a member of three Super Bowl championship teams.
MATT MORRIS: Morris, who was born in Middletown and graduated from Valley Central High School in Montgomery, pitched 11 seasons in the major leagues. A two-time All-Star, Morris enjoyed his best season in 2001, when he had a 22-8 record with the St. Louis Cardinals. (Oct. 2, 2005)
JASON MOTTE: Motte played at Valley Central High School in Montgomery and Iona College. In five big-league seasons, Motte has established himself as one of baseball's top relief pitchers. He was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' 2011 world championship team. (Oct. 28, 2011)
JOE NATHAN: Nathan attended Pine Bush High School before later emerging as one of the best closers in baseball. From 2004 to 2012, Nathan amassed 298 saves for the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers. He has been selected to five All-Star Games. (July 26, 2011)
DAN PASQUA: A Yonkers native, Dan Pasqua played 10 seasons as a big-league outfielder for the Yankees and Chicago White Sox. (1989)
FLOYD PATTERSON: Patterson was living in Mount Vernon in 1954 when he became the youngest man ever to win the world heavyweight title. Patterson, who died in 2006, lived the final years of his life in New Paltz, where he is buried.
MIKE REMLINGER: Remlinger, who is from Middletown, played 14 years in the major leagues, mostly as a relief pitcher. While playing with the Atlanta Braves in 2002, he was selected to the All-Star Game. (April 5, 2006)
RAY RICE: Rice, who starred at New Rochelle High School, has rushed for at least 1,100 yards each of the past four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was a member of the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII championship team following the 2012 season. (Sept. 13, 2010)