Albuquerque Sports Athletes
Who are some famous Albuquerque sports athletes? Who do you know or recognize? Who is well-known for playing sports in Albuquerque, New Mexico? Why is Albuquerque an important venue for sports?
Albuquerque, New Mexico is the home for many incredible athletes, places, and sports! We are very proud to recognize these individuals who have earned high achievements on the field and in their sports arena. Read this section for some amazing stories! Maybe you might know or recognize a famous sports athlete from Albuquerque? Maybe you have seen their sport games on T.V. or in person?
Unsers, Race Car Drivers
First off, the Unsers Racing family has spanned and continued on for over four generations! Their legacy thrives on and they started from very humble beginnings. Louis and Marie immigrated from Europe, specifically the country of Switzerland, and relocated to Colorado. It was hear in the beautiful lush green valleys of Colorado, the family became very well-known for riding their bikes, motorcycles that is, on the very diversified terrains of Colorado. Eventually, the family made their way to become successful and competitive race car drivers in the area. Note, that Al Unser, Sr. placed a high ranking of 9th place during the race of 1965 in the big Indy (Indianapolis) 500! Wow! Then, he repeated wins during the years of 1970 and 1971! Al Unser, Sr. achieved over 39 career race car driving wins and victories. Also, Al Unser, Jr competed with high rankings and wins. He placed 5th place at the event of 1982 in California where he raced in the 500-mile. He outpaced Scott Goodyear at the memorable and Indy 500 in 1992. Al Unser, Jr. would be recognized just two years later, in 1994, as the “Athlete of the Year” by the Wide World of Sports sponsored by the network ABC. Today, you can check out the Unser Racing museum to meet the family and learn about their incredible racing history and achievements. The museum hosts events and maybe you can learn a lesson or two about race car driving!
Notah Begay III Professional Golfer
Mr. Notah Begay III hails from our very own beautiful, local town of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a local, Native American Professional Golfer from the Pueblos of Isleta and San Felipe, and is of Dine Navajo. An interesting fun fact is that he holds the honor of participating in the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Tour as the very, first Native American from the Southwest region. He is an incredible golfer having earned the All-American Honors over three times and led his golf team from Stanford University to the National Golf Championship in the year of 1994. He even earned a degree in the academic field of Economics while attending the University. Overall, he has won over 4 PGA Tours, and holds the honor of shooting the 59 during the professional golfing events in our modern history. You can keep with Notah Begay III’s current and successful Foundation called “NB3 Foundation”, which stands for Notah Begay III Foundation.
Michael Cooper, UNM & NBA Basketball Player
How well or how much do you know about Mr. Michael Cooper ? He is pretty well-known for his time playing as a Lobos Basketball player for the UNM Men’s Team! He would easily average over 97 points per game, which is an amazing skill, during the season of 1977 to 1978 at UNM. He would always score very high numbers and the games would be thrilling! He contributed to the UNM Lobo Men’s Basketball team winning their title of the WAC (Western Athletic Conference) regular season, which is a very challenging competition every year for college basketball. Michael Cooper would continue onward to spending time with the Lakers Basketball team in Los Angeles during the years of 1978 to 1987. Check out his stats and learn more about him!
Jim Everett Quarterback NFL & Eldorado High School
How about… have you heard about the amazing talent of Mr. Jim Everett? He was born here in Albuquerque and was raised here too! He was very involved in contributing to Eldorado High School’s football season of 1980, where they won the state championship! He played the position of quarterback and was always on point during the football games. Eventually, he attended college as a student-athlete at Purdue University. He earned very high, excellent academic grades there too! Soon the professional Houston Oilers team had picked him during the 1986 year draft of the NFL (National Football League). His entire and long NFL career included playing on many teams; he played for these teams: Los Angeles Rams when they were first located in California., the Saints team in New Orleans, and the Chargers in San Diego, California.
Alex Bregman Major League Baseball
One new and current Albuquerque athlete is Mr. Alex Bregman . Alex Bregman was born and raised in our Albuquerque! He spent a lot of time training and playing baseball at the Albuquerque Academy. He would always play every game competitively and was very skilled at a young age. He would earn and achieve the distinction of being the year of 2013 National Freshmen Player of the Year, which is a high-ranking honor to hold. He helped to contribute to his professional team of the Houston Astros part of the MLB (Major League Baseball) to win the 2017 World Series and become a champion too! His career is just beginning, so watch his games and learn more about the MLB too!
Holly Holms Boxer, UFC, MMA
Another new and current famous athlete located here in the sunny Albuquerque is Ms. Holly Holms! Maybe you have seen her compete on T.V. or in person around town? She is really talented, friendly, and has an incredible career in all three of Boxing, Kickboxing, and the current UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). She won the UFC World Champion Title, regularly fights in the Women’s Bantamweight, and is a very skilled mixed martial artist. She trains at the Albuquerque local gym called Jackson Wink MMA Academy. She is truly an inspiration for following your dreams, working hard, and staying true to your passions every single day! Also, her nickname of “The Preacher’s Daughter” was provided that her father is a religious Reverend.
Johnny Tapia Boxer
Now, a past former champion from the local Albuquerque is Mr. Johnny Tapia! He is well-known for his boxing style and achievements in the boxing ring! He won over five championships as a world-class and professional boxer! He was always placed within the super, flyweight matches and had great endurance and strategy in the boxing ring. Just recently in the year of 2017, he was inducted into International Boxing’s own Hall of Fame for his achievements and successes in boxing. Check him out online and learn about his titles in the WBO (World Boxing Organization) too!
Duane Ward Major League Baseball
Mr. Duane Ward, is a famous local athlete and has earned the high distinction of being a player who has experience the World Series in MLB history! His stats and achievements are very incredible! He regularly played professional baseball on the Atlanta Braves and contributed to their team during the All-Star Game in the year of 1993.
Brian Urlacher National Football League, NFL
You might know him! You might have seen one of his NFL games too!? Mr. Brian Urlacher, is very well-known in the local Albuquerque and UNM community for his achievements playing football at the collegiate university level and at the professional level too! He played football on the University of Lobos Football team. He eventually made his way to play professionally for the Chicago Bears team as one of their amazing linebackers. He was formally inducted in the Hall of Fame in the NFL during the year of 2018.
Hank Baskett National Football League, NFL
Do you know a lot about Mr. Hank Baskett? He also played football on the University of New Mexico Football team and played as a wide received professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles. Be sure to check out his incredible stats () and he was always on point with skills during each game he played. His stats include: gaining and playing over 1,046 yards with over 71 catches contributing to the success of the Philadelphia Eagles. He scored lots of touchdowns too!
To this very day, Albuquerque, New Mexico is always well known for producing and training incredible athletes! Be sure to continue supporting and watching the local sports games played here in Albuquerque and watch for rising athletes with amazing talent!