John Pudner

John Pudner

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North Carolina: UNC vs. Duke Hoops for Top Student-Athlete

Grayson Allen led Duke to the national basketball title and ranks as the top returning player. Megan Buckingham leads the greatest college sports program in history (UNC women’s soccer). The greatest upset unfolded on the Big Ten Network eight years ago when Appalachian State shocked the world.


Alaska: Unique Sports, Current and Former Stars

Sarah Palin won a state basketball title, Mary Kakoona won an Eskimo-Indian Olympics event by skinning a seal in less than 2 ½ minutes, and Reggie Tougue intercepted 11 passes and ran for 932 yards at Lathrop High School before playing for Oregon State and the Oakland Raiders.

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ME, NH, VT: Dre Wills Best Athlete in Northern New England

Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald reported on the great effort put up by Maine’s Shaun Lawton and Till Gloger to almost pull the upset, but Dre Wills showed why he is the best player in three states by hitting six of eight shots and adding three steals, six rebounds and five assists to rally Vermont 68-54 this past season.


Washington: Student-Athlete Stars at 3 Colleges, Prep QB Top List

After skipping the NBA draft for a shot at the Final Four, All-American Kyle Wiltjer remains as the established top player on the top team in the state (Gonzaga). Taelor Ross, the sister of Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors, and her Seattle team enter this season as the player and team with the most to prove.


Maryland/DC: Terps Go for Title, Hoya for All-American

With Diamond Stone choosing to join Melo Trimble and Jack Layman, the Terps hold the best chance for a basketball title in years. When you add D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera from just over the state line in Washington DC, some of the best basketball in the country continues to be played around the nation’s capital just like it has been from the careers of Elgin Baylor to Kevin Durant.


Hawaii: Top Athletes Surf, Dive Off Cliffs

Tatiana Weston-Webb (pictured) of Haiku burst on the surfing scene last year at 17, and at 23 Andrew Agcaoili of Oahu and his friends produce the incredible cliff diving footage covered earlier this month by the Huffington Post.


Rhode Island: Top Student-Athlete Back, Other Goes NHL

The Providence Friars boasted two winter superstars: hockey goalie John Gillies earned Most Outstanding Player distinction in delivering the school a surprise national title before signing professionally and Kris Dunn decided to hold off a year on an NBA contract to try to give Friars basketball a Big East title.


Montana: Top Student-Athlete Left Due to Firing of Obama Brother-in-Law

The firing of President Obama’s brother-in-law cost Montana what the New York Times called the best basketball family in the country (pictured). The journalists we talked to said Tres Tinkle following his dad Wayne to Oregon State left baskeball center Martin Breunig as clearly the top student-athlete in the country.

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Mississippi: 25 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

In early October, CBS projected a BCS semifinal game of Mississippi vs. Mississippi State, only to have the best athlete in the state, Laquon Treadwell, tackled just short of the goal line against Auburn to create a fumble and injury that knocked him out for the season.


Kansas: Top 20 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

Wichita State’s win over Kansas in March Madness to claim bragging rights in the basketball state featured all the best athletes in the Sunflower State. However, the greatest athletes ever were running star and Congressman Jim Ryun and baseball Hall of Famer George Brett.


New York: Top 50 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

Syracuse plays short-handed due to probation. The best St. John’s player quit because of the strictness of new coach Chris Mullin (pictured), and Donovan McNabb won the last football game between ranked teams when his Syracuse Orange defeated Army in 1996. There are 50 players to watch this season in New York, and they are spread over 18 colleges and several high schools in a state dominated by pro sports.


South Dakota: 25 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

The South Dakota State University Jackrabbits basketball team came within three points of stunning Arkansas in March Madness. They should be even better with three players in the top 10% of all players at Value Add and a midseason transfer from Wisconsin in George Marshall who went 2nd team all Conference and Deondre Parks led the team in scoring.

Craig Biggio,Randy Johnson,Pedro Martinez,John Smoltz

Did Hall of Fame Induction Include Toughest Pitcher to Beat?

When Babe Ruth stood on the mound for the Boston Red Sox from 1915-17, he went 65-33, a mark topped only by a couple of dozen pitchers in the 100 years since. All three pitchers inducted to the Hall of Fame Sunday – along with my favorite player Craig Biggio – enjoyed even better marks.


Indiana: 25 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

Yogi Ferrell’s decision to wait on the NBA gives the Hoosiers a chance for a run, he may not be the best basketball player in the state (Alec Peters, Valparaiso) or best athlete on his campus (Nate Sudfeld, 60% of passes completed all three years and 34 TDs to 13 interceptions). IUPUI’s soccer player Krissy Kirkhoff (pictured) also shines as one of the brightest stars in the state.


Nebraska: 20 Student-Athletes to Watch in 2015-16

When you think about Nebraska, you think about football—and Alex Lewis should be protecting quarterback Tommy Armstrong this season. However, Omaha hosts the College World Series, and the greatest athlete ever from the state is pitcher Bob Gibson.

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