7 of the Most Famous Athletes from South Dakota
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The WWE King of the Ring and world-class wrestling champ Brock Lesnar, was born in Webster, SD in 1977. He became the first fighter to beat The Undertaker in a WrestleMania match in 2014 and tried out for the Minnesota Vikings.
NBA superstar Mike Miller was named Rookie of the Year in 2001 while playing for the Orlando Magic; won a NBA Championship with the Miami Heat in 2012, and played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Washington Wizards. He was born in Mitchell, SD. in 1980.
Adam Vinatieri was born in Yankton in 1972 and is one of the best kickers the NFL has ever seen. He won three Super Bowl titles with the Patriots and one title with the Colts. Vinatieri has been called "Mr. Clutch", "Automatic Adam", and "Iceman" by the media due to his reputation for success when kicking under pressure. Did you know that he is also a third cousin to the daredevil Evel Knievel?
Linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, Chad Greenway was born in Mount Vernon, SD. in 1983. The 2-time Pro Bowler is also very active in his many charities, the Greenway Foundation, and has been named the Vikings' Community Man-of-the-Year.
Beck Hammon is a 6-time All-Star for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Silver Stars. In 2014, she was hired to be an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, becoming the first female coach in NBA history. She was born in Rapid City, SD.
Billy Mills was the second Native American to ever win a gold medal finishing first in the 10,000-meter race in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the only American to win the event. That victory is still considered one of the greatest of Olympic upsets in history. Born in Pine Ridge, Mills was is a member of the United States Olympic Hall of Fame.
Born in Rapid City, SD. Mark Ellis repeatedly hammered the ball over the fence while playing for the American Legion's Rapid City Post 22 in the early 90's. Ellis played second base who spent the first ten years of his career with the Oakland Athletics. He was played by Brent Dohling in the film "Moneyball." starring Brad Pitt. He was also, incredibly, in the same graduating class as WNBA star Becky Hammon! He also played for the Rockies, Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals. He announced his retirement in 2015.