These Are the Most Popular Athletes From Every State

Legendary athletes love their hometowns. But which sports icon is the most loved in their home state? recently revealed the sports stars from each state, and 60% of the states named either a football or basketball star. There were also sports stars from baseball, boxing, long-distance running, road cycling tennis, boxing, MMA and pro wrestling that made the list.

The most notable name is Michael Jordan who is from North Carolina. Jordan made a name for himself in the state, leading the North Carolina Tar Heels to an NCAA title in 1982. His success at UNC led to him being drafted by the Chicago Bulls and becoming arguably the best player in NBA history.

Speaking of Chicago, Dwyane Wade was named the top sports star from Illinois. He played high school basketball at Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois before playing college basketball at Marquette. Wade was drafted No. 5 overall by the Miami Heat in 2003 and went on to win three NBA titles and selected to the All-Star game 13 times.

Most popular athlete map graphic

Many would think Tom Brady would be named the most popular star in California. That honor belongs to Tiger Woods who has emerged as one of the top golf stars of all time. Woods has won 15 major championships including five Masters. He has claimed a total of 82 PGA Tour victories, which is tied for the most in history.

When it comes to football players Brett Favre (Mississippi), John Elway (Washington), Reggie White (Tennessee), and Gale Sayers (Nebraska) made the list. Baseball was also represented well with Jackie Robinson (Georgia), Carlton Fisk (New Hampshire), Babe Ruth (Maryland) and Curt Schilling (Alaska).


The question is how was this study done? "first collected data for each of the fifty states' most successful and prodigious athletes from Bleacher Report. It led to the outlet analyzing "each athlete's respective Wikipedia page to assess visits during a twelve-month period between March 2020-March 2021." The sports star from each state with the "most page views during this period is considered their area's leading hometown hero." The NBA led the way with 17 stars while the NFL had 14. And as for the biggest sports star nationwide, Jordan took home that crown.