Chicago is well documented for it's extraordinary talent. From Michael Jordan to Bo Jackson we have all seen in one time or another legends playing right here in our own backyard. So I feel here at "As I See It" that there should be an award for the best all around athlete that our city has to offer.
So I present to you the next category in the "As I See It" Chicago's Finest Awards:
"Da Best Athlete" Windy
Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls - Point Guard
At 6'3'', 190lbs Derrick Martell Rose went from a blossoming point gaurd to one of the NBA's elite seemingly over one summer. Once thought of as a timid, shy kid, Derrick came with a fierce competitiveness that exuded through his play.
Derrick pretty much lead the MVP race throughout the entirety of the season, carrying the Chicago Bulls on his shoulders throughout injuries, the treacherous "circus trip" and past the first two rounds of the playoffs for the first time in years and didn't seem to miss a step until the Easter Conference Finals.
Derrick was ultimately names the 2011 NBA MVP and all-around good guy award, but it was his amazing athleticism and transcendent play at the point guard position that gained him the superstar platform that he now sits. Derrick was practically forced into becoming the Bulls primary scorer due to lack of assistance in the area. He took more beatings from opponents than I have seen since "Hack-a-Shaq" and looked like he took most of it all in stride.
Rose finished the season and his MVP campaign averaging 25ppg, 7.7apg, and 1.0spg. He increased his outside shooting by 7 percent shooting 33%, but most significant was his increase on trips to the foul line, Derrick went to the line 217 more times than he did in the season previous, making all 217 of his extra attempts.
I guess big things do come in small packages.
Devin Hester - Chicago Bears - Wide Reciever/Kick Returner
The blur is only Hester's speed.
Devin Hester definitely did not make this list as a wide receiver, as the "Devin Hester Project" is still out for jury. Hester however did make this because of his superhuman like knack for finding the end zone on kick returns. "Superman" flew right into the history books last year as he recorded his 14th return, passing Brian Mitchell in the all-time kick/punt returner category for touchdown.
In Devin's 5 short years for the Bears he sits among the top 10 all-time in three different statistical categories:
Non-offensive TD's - 15 (3rd all-time)
Punt Return TD's - 10 (No.1 all-time)
Yds/Punt Return - 12.4 (4th all-time)
Along with his place in history, Hester has earned three All-Pro honors as a return specialist.
Hopefully he can turn his return skills into something productive on the receiving end. Either way he is still the best return man the NFL and the city of Chicago has ever seen.
Shani Davis - U.S.A Olympic Team - Speed Skater
Shani Davis became the first black athlete in history to win a gold medal in an individual sport at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy earning gold in the 1,000m speedskating competition. That same year he also brought home the silver medal in the 1,500m speedskate. Shani hails from Chicago, IL
He later went on to defend the medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, becoming the first male of any race to accomplish the feat. He also defended his silver medal in the 1,500m race to success.
Here's a list of Davis' accomplishments.
2 Olympic Gold Medals (Turin, Vancouver)
7 World Championship Gold Medals (Seoul, Salt Lake City, Nagano, Vancouver, Inzell)
2 World Allround Championship Gold Medals (Moscow, Calgary)
Gold Medal 2009 Moscow World Sprint Championships
Gold Medal 2005 World Championships
Current World Record holder in 1000m, 1500m sprints
Julius Peppers - Chicago Bears - Defensive End
Julius Peppers was picked up by the Bears last offseason in a blockbuster deal for the organization. Peppers was one the nastiest defensive tackles in the league playing for the Carolina Panthers. That dominance transferred over to the NFC North as Pep wreaked terror and havoc on quarterbacks all season. Ultimately taking three quarterbacks out of games and earning Defensive Player of the Year award in the process. Peppers also earned a Pro-Bowl invitation.
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