Long Islanders tend to root for teams on or near Long Island, but the wider sports world is full of Long Islanders, too. So let’s pause at year’s end for a hometown tip of the cap to 13 of the many who had noteworthy 2018s.
The Boston College junior out of West Babylon won the Tewaaraton Award, given to the top female and male lacrosse players in the nation. Apuzzo led B.C. to the NCAA title game, totaling 88 goals, 129 points and 163 draw controls.
The Nets coach out of Northport lost top scorer Caris LeVert to a foot injury after 14 games and later lost eight games in a row before steadying his team and winning nine out of 10 entering Friday night, including a home upset of LeBron James’ Lakers.
At 37, the Syosset product won her third WNBA title with Seattle, averaging a career-high 7.1 assists. She scored 22 points – 14 in the fourth quarter – while playing with a broken nose in the decisive Game 5 of the semifinals against Phoenix.
The sophomore quarterback out of Sayville got the start in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and threw for one touchdown and ran for another in Wisconsin’s 35-3 rout of Miami. He previously had shown promise in five regular-season appearances, completing 50 of 82 passes for 442 yards.
The veteran sportscaster from Commack watched the Winter Olympics as a fan, not a host, for the first time in decades, but in July he was in Cooperstown to accept the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick award for excellence in broadcasting.
Four years after faltering in his final skeleton run in Sochi – a cruel setback when he was in medal contention - the 32-year-old out of Smithtown got redemption in Pyeongchang, finishing 16th but doing what he came to do: finish.
A national women’s soccer team member from Rockville Centre, Dunn was named to Best XI as a defender in the qualifying tournament for the 2019 women’s World Cup. She also won a NWSL title with the North Carolina Courage.
The former Hills West and LuHi star has come into his own with the Clippers, his fourth NBA team. He was Western Conference Player of the Month for October/November and scored a career-high 39 points against Portland on Dec. 17.
The UFC fighter from Wantagh impressed the MMA world by going the distance with unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice in April, then scored a unanimous decision over Kevin Lee in December to join the title shot conversation.
The Bruins defenseman from Long Beach finished fifth in voting for the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year last season. He lost 20 games to a concussion this season but returned Dec. 6 and resumed his key role in the Boston lineup.
The boxer out of Brentwood was Long Island’s first world champion, part of a career that got him elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. McGirt will be inducted in June. Now 54, he retired with a 73-6-1 record and 48 knockouts.
Courtney Murphy/Kylie Ohlmiller
Rather than choose between Stony Brook lacrosse stars, let’s make them an entry from a team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1. Murphy, from Shirley, set an NCAA Division I record for career goals (341) and Ohlmiller, from Islip, records for career assists (246) and points (498).