It's not often that people associate Sacramento with the birthplace of professional athletes. Still, there is a long and illustrious list of athletes hailed from Sacramento, Placer, or Yolo Counties who have achieved success in their respective athletic endeavors.
So, here are 6 famous athletes from Sacramento:
1) Kyle Larson - NASCAR
We all know Elk Grove residents drive fast on the streets, but Kyle Larson, a 1992 native, exploited his lead foot to his advantage on the racetrack.
Larson rose to prominence as the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year and champion, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, the 2015 24 Hours of Daytona winner, and the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year.
2) Ryan Anderson - NBA Basketball
After being drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 2008, Hill's Anderson has had a reasonably successful early NBA career.
He was promptly moved to the Orlando Magic, where he won a position in the starting lineup and drew the league's attention as a power forward with an accurate three-point stroke who could stretch the defense out to the three-point line.
After winning the NBA's Most Improved Player Award in 2012 and enjoying scoring and rebounding success despite some injury difficulties, he was moved to the New Orleans Pelicans.
3) Bill Cartwright - NBA Basketball
Bill Cartwright, the gangly and energetic center of the early Michael Jordan Bulls teams, will be remembered fondly by fans of the franchise.
Cartwright, who is Over 7 feet tall, began his basketball career at Elk Grove High School before attending the University of San Francisco and playing 16 seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, Bulls, and SuperSonics.
4) Urijah Faber - UFC & Martial Arts
The California Child is regarded as the pride and joy of Davis, California, where he attended school and wrestled for the Golden Bears.
Since then, he's achieved tremendous things in the professional ranks of the WEC and UFC, including winning many title belts and becoming one of the most well-known names – and smiling faces – in MMA.
His significance extends beyond his own professional career, as he is the creator of the Alpha Male squad, which has produced a slew of other outstanding fighters under his guidance.
5) Dante Stallworth - NFL Football
Each year, Grant Union High School produced several renowned athletes, but none were more outstanding than the young Stallworth, who excelled in both track and football.
He went on to have a distinguished career as a sure-handed wide receiver with the Saints, Eagles, Patriots, Redskins, Ravens, and Browns, among other teams.
But the finest squad he ever played on was back at Grant as a high schooler, with teammates Seneca Wallace (now an NFL quarterback), Onterrio Smith (now an NFL running back), C.J. Wallace (now an NFL safety), and Paris Warren (now an NFL wide receiver).
6) Summer Sanders - Swimming
Summer Elisabeth Sanders grew up in Roseville, California, and competed in swimming at Stanford University. And then competing in the 1992 Summer Olympics, where she won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Summer Elisabeth Sanders was born in Roseville and raised in Roseville.
She is currently a sports analyst and media figure who ably represents both her sport and her nation.
Who is your favorite athlete or aspiring Olympic champion? Let me know in the comments below.