Bet You Didn’t Know These 25 Athletes Are Latino
The NFL, NBA, MLB and FIFA are full of athletes you probably didn’t know are Latino. If you follow any of these sports, I challenge you to identify them.
1. Tony Romo
Romo was a former quarterback after spending his earlier days in Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League for 14 seasons. Romo holds several Cowboys records under his sleeve, including passing yards, passing touchdowns, games with more than three touchdown passes, and most games with at least 300 passing yards. He retired in 2016 after a preseason back injury. Currently, he is an NFL analyst on CBS Sports for their telecasts show. Although he is U.S.-born, he has Mexican heritage on his grandfather’s side.
2. Dan Haren
He is a former American professional baseball pitcher and among the small group of Major League Baseball (MLB) pitchers to have beaten all the 30 major league teams. He completed his career with an incredible three All-Star game appearances and was named the seventh best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the major league history.
Haren was born in California but has Irish and Mexican backgrounds.
The professional basketball player is among the sports superstars who rocked our screens for years when he played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His successful three-year stint in Brazil earned him an NBA invitation to Chicago. He would later be a victim of injuries which saw him miss a lot of matches. During his career, he received many awards including being named second in the NBA in field goal percentage, fifth for NBA Most Improved Player award, among others.
This Houston Rockets player was actually born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Doesn’t he look sexier now?
4. Adam LaRoche
Having played in 12 seasons in the Major League Baseball (MLB), Adam LaRoche was named as a senior in an All-American baseball. His major achievements were his two milestones where he reached his career-high 33rd home run recording a career-high of 100RB and earning him the first Gold Glove including the Silver Slugger Award. Don’t get fooled by his looks, Adam LaRoche is proud of his Mexican roots on his father side.
5. Anderson Varejao
He is a 13-year NBA veteran, 12 of which were spent playing for Cleveland Cavaliers. Between 2002 and 2014, he competed in every world championship and finally won a gold medal at Pan American Games in 2003. It is while at Golden State Warriors that he was given a championship ring after winning the NBA championship in 2017. Varejao was born in Colatina, Brazil. Besides playing for the Golden State Warriors he has actually played on Brazil’s national team!
6. Al Horford
Alfred Joel Horford Reynoso, Boston Celtics players, was born in the Dominican Republic. He played a key role as the starting center on the Gators team that won the back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2006 and 2007. He also holds several other achievements under his belt, including a five-time NBA All-Star winner, the first Hawks pick to earn an All-Star berth after Kevin Willis in 1992, and a bronze medalist at the FIBA Americas Championship which earned him All-Tournament honors.
7. Walter Herrmann
He was a key player of the senior squad in the Argentine basketball lineup. His team won the gold medal in the memorable 2004 Olympic Games. During his time at Flamengo, he played in the top-level Brazilian League and won the 2014 edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup. During the 2015 and 2016 season, Walter played for San Lorenzo club and they became champions of the Argentine League, as well as the Argentine League’s Finals MVP title. Former Detroit Pistons player, was born in Venado Tuernto, Argentina.
8. Andre Ethier
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Andre Ethier is Mexican on his mother’s side. He is a former professional American baseball outfielder who played in the Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers. His major achievement includes a Silver Slugger Award in 2009, All-Star selections in 2010-2011, and a Gold Glove Award in 2011 alongside other celebrities such as Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw giving the Dodgers team three Gold Glove winners in one year for the first time in baseball history.
9. Rudy Fernandez
Born in Mallorca, Spain, Rudy Fernandez has played both in the NBA and the European Basketball League. The three-time All-EuroLeague Team selection who eventually won the league in 2015-2018, was also an NBA legend and an All-Rookie Second Team member. Currently, he is representative of the senior Spanish national basketball team. Among his achievements are the FIBA World Cup he won in 2006, two magnificent Olympic silver medals back in 2008-2012, and a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
10. Manu Ginobili
Though retired from professional basketball, Ginobili became one of the two known players to win a EuroLeague title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA championship. The four-time NBA champion was nicknamed “Big Three” alongside teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. To add to his achievement collections, he has won two Italian League MVP awards, EuroLeague championship in 2001, the EuroLeague Finals MVP and the Triple Crown. Born Emanuel David Ginoblini, this former San Antonio Spurs player is Argentinian-Born.
11. Jeff Garcia
Garcia has Mexican and Irish heritage. The former Canadian football and American football quarterback is a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection and earned UPI All-America honors in 1992. He is one out of ten quarterbacks who have achieved an overwhelming thirty-touchdown passing season two consecutive times in his career. Also, he is one of only thirteen other quarterbacks to achieve a 99-yard touchdown pass.
12. Tiago Splitter
Tiago Splitter was born in Blumenau, Brazil.The forme basketball player spent seven seasons in the NBA. He is a three-time All-EuroLeague Team selection and the first Brazilian player to win an NBA championship in 2014 with San Antonio Spurs. He won gold medals with Brazilian national basketball team at the FIBA Americas Championship (2005, 2009, 2011), Pan American Games in 2003, and South American Championship in 2003. Unfortunately, he announced his retirement in February 2018 following a hip injury that affected his career.
13. Luis Scola
From Argentina to China! The Argentine professional basketball player was voted to the famous NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2007. Earlier in 2004, he won an Olympic medal and a bronze medal in the Summer Olympics in 2008. As a result of these achievements, he was named the flagbearer for Argentina’s national team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Scola now plays in the Chinese Basketball Association
14. Ted Williams
Ted was a nineteen-time All-Start, a six-time American League (AL) batting champion, a two-time award winner of the AL Most Valuable Player Award, and a two-time winner of the Triple Crown. The legend even dedicated three years of his time to serve in the Marine Corps and the United States Navy during World War II.
Williams was born in California but had Mexican background. Some claim he was the first latino baseball star.
15. Leandro Barbosa
Another Brazilian on the list! Barbosa was born in Sao Paulo and won the highly contested NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award including an NBA championship with the Warriors. On the list of his accomplishments is the Brazilian Basketball League he won with Bauru. After he reassigned with Warriors in 2015, he helped the team win an NBA record of 73 games to record an all-time high from the record set in 1995 and 1996 by Chicago Bulls.
16. Ryan Lochte
The twelve-time Olympic medalist holds impressive world records in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay and 4×200-meter freestyle long-course. Currently, he is the world record holder in the 400-meter individual medley short course and 200-meter individual medley long and short course. The incredible performance in these competitions has earned him several awards including the World Swimmer of the Year Award, SwimSwam’s Swammy Award, and a two-time American Swimmer of the Year Award. Lochte was born in New York but is Cuban on his mother’s side. Who knew?
17. Ronda Rousey
To add to her gifts, Rousey is a professional wrestler, a mixed martial artist, an actress, author, and judoka. Currently, she is signed to WWE and won the Raw Women’s Champion in her first reign. She has had successes in both the King of the Cage and Strikeforce events where she was crowned the last ever Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. Ronda has also enjoyed great success as an actress and author by featuring in the films The Expendables, Furious 7, and Mile 22. She further released her autobiography in 2015 called My Fight/Your Fight. She has Venezuelan and Trinidadian roots!
18. Carmello Anthony
Anthony as Puerto Rican and Venezuelan background on his father side. The Houston Rocket’s basketball team player is a ten-time NBA All-Star and six times All-NBA Team member. In 2003, he kicked his career and won the national championship as a freshman with Syracuse Orange. He was also crowned as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. He was the bronze medalist in 2004 Summer Olympics and a gold medalist at the Summer Olympics in 2008, 2012, and 2016. On top of that, he holds the title for the all-time leading scores in the United States Olympics men’s national basketball team.
19. Victor Cruz
Known for his role as a wide receiver in American football, Victor Cruz has a couple of feats under his sleeve. He won the Super Bowl XLVI with New York Giants in 2012 and the explosive 99-yard touchdown catch during his time in the Giants against New York Jets. His impressive 89 yards after the catch is one of the most recorded ever by a receiver on a 99-yard reception. Cruz is known for his popular yet hilarious celebration of a salsa dance after every touchdown. Quite an entertaining basketball player! He was born in New Jersey to a Puerto Rican mother.
20. Reggie Jackson
he flamboyant and outspoken Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder is known for his incredible postseason achievements. In 1971, Jackson helped lead the Athletics to the all-time American League Eastern Division Title with an impressive 32 home runs. Two years later (1973), he became the unanimous winner of the popular American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The crowning of his tremendous achievement in his career came on August 1993, when he was named the 216th inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Surprisingly, he was the only player to be honored in that year.
Reginald “Reggie” Martinez, born in Pennsylvania, is Puerto Rican on his father’s side.
21. James Rodriguez
Former Real Madrid star, was born in Cucuta, Colombia. The Colombian footballer now plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for Bayern Munich. From his vision, technique, and playmaking skills, it’s no doubt that he is one of the best players of his generation. His career kicked off when he won the Toulon Tournament in 2011 with Colombia’s under-20 team. Following his outstanding performance in the tournament, he was included in the senior squad and played in the 2014 FIFA World cup where he won the Golden Boot as the top scorer.
22. Radamel Falcao
Simply known as Falcao, the Monaco FC star was born in Santa Marta, Colombia. The Colombian striker is the captain for both Monaco and Colombia national team. During his era in River Plate, he won the 2007 and 2008 Clausura tournament. He also won several titles, including the Primeira Liga and Europa League in 2011. While at club Porto, he became their all-time top goalscorer in most international club competitions setting the record for the most goals scored (17) in a European campaign. He is also the first Colombian to receive the Portuguese Golden Ball award.
23. Keylor Navas
The Costa Rican footballer who plays the role of a goalkeeper for Real Madrid and Costa Rica national team has won six national championships including the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2005. In 2014, he went on to become La Liga Player of the Month, making him the first goalkeeper to win the award. The same season, he was declared the goalkeeper with most saves in La Liga at a record of 267. His incredible performance in the 2017-2018 Champions League played a huge role in his nomination as the 2017-2018 Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season.
24. Laurie Hernandez
Olympic gymnast and winner of Dancing with the Stars is Puerto Rican descent. Her appearance in the 2016 Summer Olympics couldn’t go unnoticed when she won the gold medal in the overall team event and a silver medal on the balance beam. In the same year, Laurie Hernandez featured in the Dancing with the Stars and won season 23 with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
25. Gonzalo Higuain
This hottie was actually born in France but is Argentinian descent and plays for the national team. His era in the world’s favorite Spanish clubs saw him win several titles including three La Liga titles and an award for scoring 107 goals in 190 leagues appearances. After his move to Napoli, he completed the season with a win of the Coppa Italia in his first season. Still, in Napoli, the 2015 ad 2016 season was another successful moment where he scored 36 league goals and won the Capocannoniere title. Higuain is currently a full Argentina international, and he has represented the country in three FIFA World Cups.