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The 5 Best Sports Stars from Nevada

While Nevada isn’t the most famous state when it comes to producing star athletes, there have been several over the decades that have not only been the best in the state but also the best in their sport. Here are the top 5 sports stars from the Silver State.

Image by: Tim Nwachukuwu via CNN 

Bryce Harper

When it comes to current baseball superstars, no list is complete without Bryce Harper. The first-baseman started his career at the Nationals but is now one of the heavy hitters at the Philadelphia Phillies.

The seven-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger award winner has won everything under the sun except the elusive World Series. Considering BetMGM is the best online sportsbook to check baseball odds, putting your money on Harper to win another MVP or Silver Slugger Award wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Andre Agassi

Arguably one of the best American tennis players of all time, Andrew Agassi has won every title a tennis pro could dream of. He has won the Australian Open four times, the French Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon.

He also won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics and retired with a record of 870–274. He was also a Davis Cup winner and coached Novak Djokovic and Grigor Dimitrov, with Djokovic winning two titles with Agassi as his coach.

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Kyle Busch

While he is a polarizing figure in the world of NASCAR, it is hard to ignore that Kyle Busch is one of the greatest drivers to sit behind the wheel. He is a two-time winner of the ESPY “Best Driver of the Year” award, and of his 366 races, he has 102 wins and 266 top tens.

He is also a two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, a two-time NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season champion, a NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, and a seven-time NASCAR Camping Truck Series Owner’s champion with his team, Kyle Busch Motorsports. To top it off, he is also a one-time WWE 24/7 title holder.

Frank Mir

Another polarizing figure out of Nevada is Frank Mir. He was one of the best heavyweights in the UFC in his prime. While his record took a tumble, and he is now not on any record boards, his influence in the heavyweight division is undeniable.

Now 44, Mir has dived into the world of professional boxing and has appeared on different MMA shows. While his fighting appearances are rare, he still influences the sport — he is a commentator and often writes opinion pieces about mixed martial arts.

Greg Maddux

In many people’s eyes, Greg Maddux is the best athlete to come out of Nevada. Regarded as one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history, he has won everything from the World Series to 18 Golden Glove awards, winning the latter every year between 1990 and 2002 and 2004–2008.

He also received four Cy Young Awards and was an All-Star eight times. He spent most of his playing career at the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs, and he is a member of the Hall of Fame for both teams. He was also inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2014, with 97.2% of the vote.

After retiring, Maddux has gone into coaching and has worked as a pitching coach for the Cubs, Dodgers, the US National Team, the Texas Rangers, and the University of Nevada.

Honorable Mentions

There are also a few honorable mentions, and while these athletes may not have reached the same heights as others on this list, they are still stand-out stars worth noting.

Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is well on his way to becoming another Nevadan baseball superstar. Currently on the roster for the Rockies and in his eighth season as a pro, Bryant has already racked up four All-Star appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, a Hank Aaron award, and a World Series to boot.

While many may think a move to the Rockies would dampen his career, those in the know are well aware of his immense talent on the pitcher’s mound, and more accolades are most certainly on the way.

Image by: CBS News via CBS

DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray may not have been the most prolific player ever to set foot on an NFL field, but his 2014 season for the Cowboys is one no fan will soon forget. Not only was he named Offensive Player of the Year that season, but his exploits on the field are legendary.

He was the rushing yards leader and a running touchdown co-leader, earning his place in the First-Team All-Pro team. There was no better running back in the NFL at the time, and while the rest of his career wasn’t as successful, 2014 was the year of DeMarco Murray.

Barry Zito

Another Nevadan pitcher who probably doesn’t get as much recognition as he should is Barry Zito. A member of the 2012 Giants team that won the World Series, Zito was also a 3-time All-Star, an Al Cy Young Award Winner, and an Al Wins Leader, all in the same year.

Famed for his speed and consistency, Zito was the man you wanted with the ball in hand when you needed to shut down the opposition or win the game.

Don’t Underestimate Nevada

While Nevada may not be near the top of the list regarding sporting superstars, writing the Silver State off would be a massive mistake, considering many of the athletes it has produced are not only generational talents but some of the best of all time.

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