Athletes Before They Were Famous

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Athletes Before They Were Famous
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Cinderella was not a beautiful princess. There were no ball gowns hanging in her closet, little girls didn't dress like her at their birthday parties and you couldn't find her walking around at Disney World.

No, before her unexpected rise to fame and prestige, Cinderella was just an ordinary girl living with an evil stepmother, trying hard to stay positive and keep moving forward despite undue oppression.

And yet, with the help of a fairy godmother and a miraculous course of events...well, you know what happens next.

Save for the little detail about the fairy godmother, this same story plays out in sports over and over again. Indeed, no one is born a superstar athlete. While some seem on the fast track to success at a very young age, most take paths to stardom that are entirely unpredictable or unexpected.

Some come from incredible hardship and poverty to beat the odds and become legends.

Some rise out of obscurity and make the leap to professional sports from careers at construction companies or grocery stores.

Some seemed destined for greatness in another sport before finding their true calling.

Regardless of the paths they take, every star athlete comes from somewhere. And where they come from is often far more interesting than where they are now.

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