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NYC's home-grown sports stars
New York City has a rich history of producing home-grown sports greats. From Lou Gehrig (Yorkville) to Sandy Koufax (Borough Park and Bensonhurst) and “Sugar” Ray Robinson (Harlem) to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Inwood), the list goes on and on.
But where do the five boroughs stand now? Who are the best of the current generation of city-raised athletes?
We’ve done some digging and pulled the best of each borough, taking into account those who spent much of their formative years in the city.
Read on to see who amNewYork selected as its two top current athletes and a recent standout whom competed within the past 20 years.
BRONX: Kemba Walker
Although raised in the Bronx, Walker attended Rice High School in Harlem before carrying Connecticut to an NCAA championship in 2011. Now in his third season with the Bobcats, the point guard is the team’s No. 2 scorer (18.4 ppg). (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
BRONX: Willie Colon
The nine-year veteran started all 16 games at guard for the Jets last season. Also a member for the Super Bowl XLIII champion Steelers, the South Bronx native was a standout at Cardinal Hayes High School. (Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
BRONX: Bobby Bonilla
Long before threatening to “show the Bronx,” the former Mets All-Star mashed pitches at Herbert H. Lehman High School. Bonilla played 16 major-league seasons. (Credit: Matthew Stockman /Allsport)
BROOKLYN: Lance Stephenson
The 2009 New York State Mr. Basketball starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island. The guard has steadily improved since turning pro in 2010 and now is a key contributor for the NBA-leading Pacers, averaging 14.2 ppg and leading the league with four triple-doubles. (Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN: Paulie Malignaggi
After spending part of his early childhood in his parents’ native Italy, Malignaggi returned to Bensonhurst, where he was born. He found boxing in his teens, and went on to win the IBF light welterweight and WBA welterweight titles. (Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN: Mike Tyson
The fearsome face of boxing from the ‘80s into the early 2000s — for better or worse — is among the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. Other recent greats from the borough include basketball stars Chris Mullin, Stephon Marbury and Mark Jackson, former MLB All-Stars John Franco and Rich Aurilia and boxer Zab Judah. (Credit: Getty Images)
MANHATTAN: Joakim Noah
The son of former tennis star Yannick Noah was born in SoHo, but spent a decade in his father’s native France. He returned to the city at 13 and attended two city schools – United Nations International School in Manhattan and Poly Prep in Brooklyn — before finishing in New Jersey. He’s now a two-time All-Star for the Bulls, and won two NCAA championships while at Florida. (Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN: Dellin Betances
The young Yankees right-hander was born in Washington Heights, but moved to the Lower East Side at age 10. He became a standout pitcher for Grand Street Campus School in Brooklyn. He has eight MLB appearances for the Bronx Bombers, his favorite team as a child. (Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images)
MANHATTAN: Joe Mullen
The Hall of Famer grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, right around the corner from Madison Square Garden where his father worked. Both he and brother Brian spent more than a decade in the NHL. Other recent standouts from the island include 12-time MLB All-Star Manny Ramirez and one-time NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn. (Credit: Mike Powell/Getty Images)
QUEENS: Tina Charles
This Jamaica, Queens, native quickly ascended to the top of her sport after starring at Christ the King High School in Middle Village. She won two NCAA titles at Connecticut, and capped her college career by receiving the Wooden Award. The Connecticut Sun took her first overall soon after, and she added to her trophy collection with a Rookie of the Year award in 2010 and MVP award in 2012. She also won an Olympic gold medal that year. (Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
QUEENS: Metta World Peace
The volatile defensive standout from Queensbridge has been in the national spotlight for more than a decade since graduating from La Salle Academy in the East Village — not always for the right reasons. He’s been St. John’s star, an All-Star, an NBA champion, received the NBA’s citizenship award, and been at the center of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl in 2004. Before being waived earlier this week, he averaged 4.8 ppg in his only season with the Knicks. (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)
QUEENS: Chamique Holdsclaw
Like Charles, Holdsclaw flourished at Christ the King. The Astoria native was a two-time Naismith Award winner at Tennessee before becoming a six-time All-Star in the WNBA and 2000 gold medalist. Ex-NBA stars Kenny Anderson and Lamar Odom also hail from Queens County. (Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport)
STATEN ISLAND: Jason Marquis
The former Tottenville High School star completed his 14th season in the big leagues, although he hasn’t stayed in any of his eight stops for more than four seasons. The 2009 All-Star has a career 121-114 record to go with a 4.56 ERA. (Credit: Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
STATEN ISLAND: Anthony Varvaro
Varvaro has found a home in the Braves bullpen. The 29-year-old Curtis High School — same school as the “Shot Heard ’Round the World” hitter Bobby Thompson — and St. John’s grad pitched to a 2.82 ERA in 73 1/3 innings last season. (Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
STATEN ISLAND: Adewale Ogunleye
A classmate of Marquis and former Patriots O-lineman Joe Andruzzi at Tottenville, the Brooklyn-born Ogunleye had a productive pro football career as a pass rusher primarily for the Bears and Dolphins. He notched 67 career sacks over 10 seasons and was an All-Pro in 2003. (Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)