New Jersey is a land where sports thrive. While the state may just have a single major league sports team, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, since the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012, there's a lot of history in the Garden State’s history. From NBA champions to olympic athletes and world class soccer players, this a land where superior sportsmen and women are born and raised. Let’s take a look at some of the best so you know never to doubt a New Jersey athlete whenever you visit this site openchange.org, where you can find sites to bet on events these athletes are taking part in.
3 . Derek Jeter
He may be a New York Yankees legend, but Derek Jeter was born on the other side of the Hudson River. Born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannock Township, New Jersey, Jeter is the son of Sanderson Charles Jeter, a substance abuse counselor and his wife Dorothy, an accountant, who met in Germany while serving the United States Army. Jeter’s family was always into baseball, with the young Derek starting to play as young as 5 years old. They moved to Michigan when he was four years old, and it was there that Jeter first started making waves, playing for Kalamazoo Central High School. Despite earning a scholarship for the University of Michigan, Jeter was selected by the Yankees with the sixth pick of the 1992 MLB Draft. And the rest is history. Jeter retired in 2014 having won 5 World Series with the New York team and a plethora of awards.
2 . Carl Lewis
Carl Lewis was actually born in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 1st, 1961, but he grew up in Willingboro. His mother, Evelyn (née Lawler) had been a hurdler, while his father William was an athletics coach. They both ran an athletics training club in the community, and that ended up being a massive influence for Carl. He would come up as one of the best prospects in the state, competing for the Willingboro High School, and later being offered a scholarship at the University of Houston, where he won the 980 National Collegiate Athletic Association. His greatest moment would come at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, where he would win the gold medal for the 100 meters sprint, the 200 meters, the 4x100 meters relay and the Long Jump. He’s also one of just six athletes to win gold in the same event in four consecutive Olympic Games, managing the gold for Long Jump in Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, and Atlanta 1996 as well. Should there be any doubts about his New Jersey credentials, he was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010.
1 . Shaquille O’Neal
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, the man with more nicknames than quite possibly any other human being ever is a proud son of the Garden State. Son of Lucille O'Neal and All-State basketball player Joe Toney, his father abandoned him, and O’Neal was raised by his mother and stepfather Phillip Harrison, who was an Army Sergeant. The young Shaquille O’Neal grew up playing basketball in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Newark, something the former NBA player himself has credited with keeping him safe and off the streets. The family would leave Newark because of Harrison’s Army work and it was in Texas that O’Neal began to make waves, playing for the Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio. From there, he was offered a scholarship at Louisiana State University, where he would play for three years before leaving to get drafted into the NBA. O’Neal was picked 1st Overall in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, and would go on to win four NBA titles, three Finals MVP and a MVP Award while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in a career spanning 19 years.
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