With 2018 winding down, theScore looked back at the previous 12 months and voted on the top 25 sportspeople of the year. Here’s the third instalment, highlighting Nos. 15-11.
25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 (Sun.) | 5-1 (Mon.)
15. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
The vast majority of the world’s top athletes train countless years and make endless sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of their sport. And then there’s Kyler Murray. Not only was the Texas-born Murray a top-10 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, but he also won the Heisman Trophy as the quarterback of Oklahoma in his “offseason.” The latest two-sport star to grace the American landscape also has the potential to be one of the best, as the Oakland A’s prospect is now being mentioned as a Day 1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Before he’s forced to make that decision, he will lead the Sooners into the CFP semifinal against Alabama, hoping to end the Crimson Tide’s three-year streak of reaching the final. – Dane Belbeck
14. Ada Hegerberg, F, Olympique Lyonnais
One of the most important figures in the history of world football hails from a modest Norwegian town of just 7,000 people, but she’s more than capable of living up to her illustrious title. “Every female player deserves the same opportunity (as men) to develop,” the first female winner of the Ballon d’Or wrote for The Players’ Tribune. “There’s so much talent out there all over the world that deserves a chance to shine.” What a relief Hegerberg was given that chance, with the phenomenal striker racking up almost 300 goals at just 23 years of age. As influential off the pitch as she is on it, Hegerberg shooting down a now infamous sexist remark about twerking – while on stage accepting her Ballon d’Or, no less – was the perfect response from someone who has been such an outspoken advocate for equality in football. – Daniel Rouse
13. Steph Curry, G, Golden State
Steph Curry’s growing impact on the game of basketball continued in 2018. Teams are taking (and making) the most 3-pointers per game in history, turning the NBA into a perimeter-driven league no matter the position. The average pace is fractions from 100 possessions per game for the first time in nearly three decades, and players are fearlessly chucking shots from well beyond the 3-point line early in the shot clock. Much of this can be directly related to the Warriors’ dominance. Individually, Curry added a third NBA championship to his resume and has begun the new season on a torrid pace, averaging 28.6 points per game on a sparkling 46-percent shooting from deep. – Wael Saghir
12. Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Was there a better 2018 sports story than Nick Foles? A backup to begin the 2017 season, the quarterback was thrust into the starting lineup after Carson Wentz tore his ACL in December. Despite being the NFC’s No. 1 seed, no one thought the Eagles would win one playoff game, let alone the franchise’s first Super Bowl. The ultimate underdog, Foles put together a spectacular playoff run, and now has Philadelphia charging toward the postseason after another injury to Wentz. And let’s not forget, the Super Bowl MVP not only threw for over 350 yards and threw three scores last February, but he also suggested the legendary “Philly Special” play call. – Mike Alessandrini
11. Breanna Stewart, F, Seattle Storm
Somehow, Breanna Stewart has evaded the debate over whether she will go down as the greatest women’s basketball player of all time. That won’t last long.
At 24 years old, the superstar power forward just capped one of the most remarkable years in hoops history, capturing the WNBA’s regular season and Finals MVP honor en route to her first domestic title with the Seattle Storm. Stewart followed up her clean sweep of the circuit with a gold medal and tournament MVP award at September’s Women’s Basketball World Cup, leading Team USA in scoring with 16.3 points per game.
Off the court, Stewart has continued her advocacy for sexual abuse survivors, which was put into motion after revealing she was abused as a child. Stewart is perseverance personified. – Andrew Joe Potter