"You Can't Go Home Again" is the title of a 1940 novel by Thomas Wolfe. It is important to note that it was a work of fiction, and not a true epigram. You sure couldn't prove it by the New York athletes who grew up to become prominent professional stars in New York.
New Yorkers know better than anyone what a humbling place this can be, especially for players on the home teams. To borrow another familiar line: "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." Still, you can, indeed, make it here if you are from here. The current "M--V--P" chants for Brooklyn native Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks are the latest evidence. Although Anthony did spend formative years in Baltimore, he considers his time at Madison Square Garden as homecoming. Fans think of it that way, too.
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Local kid makes good, to the delight of fellow locals: It has happened more than a few times, as you can see from this following presentation.
All 25 of these athletes were born and/or raised in the five boroughs or Long Island. They were chosen on how they performed specifically in the New York phase of their professional careers. So you won't find Sandy Koufax, Joe Torre, Nate Archibald or Boomer Esiason because their best playing days occurred elsewhere.
What you will find are standouts whose achievements (championships definitely counted in composing the list) say that you surely can go home again.
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- Athletes had to be from New York, either born and/or raised in the five boroughs or Long Island
- They needed to make their mark specifically in the New York phase of their pro careers
- Championships won definitely counted