In the last few years it seems as if the many of the best athletes are offspring of other outstanding athletes. Bobby and Brett Hull from the unprecedented father-son combination of both being in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ken Griffey Sr. and Gordie Howe were both able to play professionally with their sons and Archie, Payton and Eli Manning are all among the best quarterbacks in their franchise’s histories.
Producing an offspring has always been a key in determining who will be a great thoroughbred. Will this become the future of professional athletics and become how scouts determine which athletes will succeed?
Here is a list that will definitely indicate that genes play an important part in the development of the most successful athletes.
Dell Curry was one of college basketball's and the NBA’s most dynamic shooters from the mid 1980s until his retirement in 2002. The fact that two of his sons have become dynamic scorers cannot be a surprise.
Stephen Curry wowed college basketball when he very nearly, almost single handily, carried tiny Davidson college to the Final Four. The Wildcats fell short to Kansas 59-57 in the 2008 Elite Eight. Stephen scored 120 points in leading the Wildcats to three stirring upsets over Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin before their loss the Jayhawks.
Curry finished that season by setting the NCAA record with 162 three-point field goals. He returned for his senior season and averaged 28.6 PPG. His outstanding collegiate career was amazing considering he wasn’t recruited by any of the major D-I colleges. Curry was rewarded for his great career at Davidson when he was drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
He had an outstanding rookie season with the Golden State Warriors. Curry averaged 17.5 PPG, shot 43.7 percent on three-point attempts and made 88.5 percent of his free-throw attempts. He has an outstanding future ahead of him.
His brother Seth Curry will debut for Duke this winter after transferring from Liberty where he was freshman leader with a 20.2 PPG scoring average.
After becoming the first Dominican player ever drafted, Tito Horford played three very non-descript seasons in the NBA. Horford scored just 93 points in three seasons.
His son Al was a part of one of the most successful recruiting classes in the history of college basketball. Horford, Joakim Noah, Taurean Green and Corey Brewer led Florida to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007.
Horford was the third pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. Before Horford arrived the Hawks suffered through nine straight losing seasons. Horford has averaged 12.0 PPG and 9.6 RPG in his three NBA seasons. He earned his first trip to the All-Star Game this past season.
Jimmy Walker averaged 30 points per game his senior year at Providence College. A 2,000-point scorer in college, he held the Friars career scoring record for over 30 years until it was broken in 2005. He was selected as the first pick in the 1967 NBA Draft. Walker finished his career averaging 16.7 points per game.
Jalen Rose was a part of what many consider the greatest recruiting class in college basketball history. The “Fab Five” all started as freshman as Michigan advanced the 1992 NCAA Championship game. They followed that up with another runner-up a year later. Rose averaged 17.5 PPG in his collegiate career and 14.3 in a 13-year NBA career. Like college, Rose reached the championship in 2000 with the Indiana Pacers but was eliminated by the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Rose and Walker never met, but at one time they were the all-time leading father-son scorers in college basketball and are the only father-son combination to each score over 10,000 points in the NBA.
Terry Metcalf played six seasons in the NFL before leaving for the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. He was a three time pro-bowler. In 1975 he set the NFL record for combined yards in a season with 2,462 while with the St. Louis Cardinals. Lionel James broke Metcalf’s 14-game record in 16 games in 1985. Don Coryell was the coach for both players during their record setting seasons.
Metcalf’s son Eric was a very similar player. Eric Metcalf was also a three time pro-bowler and earned First Team All-Pro twice. He is second all time in punt return yardage and ranks 14th in kickoff returns. Metcalf played for seven teams during his career.
Yannick Noah is the only native to win the French Open since 1946. He won 23 singles titles in his career and captained the French to a Davis Cup title in 1997.
He son, Joakim Noah, was the ninth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft after leading the University of Florida to the 2006 and 2007 National Championships. Noah has improved each year in the NBA. He finished the 2010 season averaging 10.7 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game. He increased that to 14.8 and 13.0 in the Bulls five game loss to Cleveland in the first round.
Noah’s most famous play during his first three seasons in the NBA was his steal and dunk over Boston in Game 6 of the Bulls-Celtics epic seven-game first-round series in the 2009 NBA playoffs
Cecil Fielder was a three-time all-star that led the American League in Home Runs and RBI in 1990 and '91 with the Detroit Tigers. He added a third RBI title in 1992.
Fielder had six seasons with 30 or more home runs and five with over 100 RBI.
Prince Fielder is smaller but has just as of a stocky build as his father. Fielder began his career with the Milwaukee Brewers as a highly touted prospect. He finished seventh in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting in 2006.
The Milwaukee Brewers first baseman led the National League in home runs in 2007 and RBI in 2009. With 191 career home runs, Prince needs just 128 more to reach his father. They are the only father and son to hit 50 home runs in a season.
The Bells are one of just four families to have three generations play in the major leagues. Gus Bell hit 206 home runs and drove in 942 runs in 15 seasons with the Pirates, Reds, Mets and Braves. He played in four All-Star Games.
Buddy Bell nearly matched his father with 201 career home runs and had 1,106 RBI in 18 major league seasons. He locked down the American League Gold Glove at third base from 1979 to 1984. He also played in five All-Star Games.
David Bell was not as proficient as either his father or grandfather. He played 12 season in the majors with 123 HRs and 589 RBI. He was a part of three straight postseasons from 2000-02 with Seattle and San Francisco.
Muhammad Ali proclaimed himself as the greatest of all time and many boxing experts would back that up. He was the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times.
His youngest child, Laila Ali, won multiple titles during her boxing career. She finished her career undefeated with a record of 24-0-0, with 21 knockouts. Many consider her to be the greatest woman boxer ever.
Ali gave birth to her first child on August 28, 2006. She is married to former NFL wide receiver Curtis Conway.
Felipe Alou was a three time All-Star that twice led the National League in hits and at-bats. He was the first Dominican player in the Major Leagues.
His greatest thrill was probably managing his son for five seasons in Montreal and a final two in San Francisco in 2005 and 2006. Moises was a six time All-Star that finished third in the 1994 NL MVP balloting. He was a part of the 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins.
Like the Bells, the Boones had an amazing three generations of family members reach the major leagues. Ray was a two time all-star that led the American League in RBIs in 1955 with the Detroit Tigers
Bob was a four-time All-Star that at one time held the Major League record for most games caught. He played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues with four different teams before managing with Cincinnati and Kansas City.
Bob’s sons Aaron and Bret both had productive careers. Aaron played in the 2003 Major League All-Star game. His home run in the 11th inning of game seven sent the Yankees to the 2003 World Series.
When Bret made his debut with Seattle in 1992, he made his family the first to have three generations reach the Major Leagues. Bret played in three All-Star Games and led the American League with 141 RBI for the 116-46 2001 Mariners.
Howie Long played 13 years in the National Football League with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders. He made eight Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro twice. The former Villanova Wildcat was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Howie’s son Chris was drafted second overall by the St. Louis Rams in 2008. He has nine sacks through two-plus seasons in St. Louis.
Gordie Howe held most of the major scoring records in the National Hockey League before Wayne Gretzky shattered them. He played a nearly unfathomable 32 seasons in the NHL/WHA. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, made a comeback with the Houston Aeros of the WHA and continued his career until retiring for good in 1980. He led the NHL in scoring six times and goals five.
His sons Marty and Mark both played in the NHL. Marty had a 12 year career in the WHA and NHL, while Mark played in both leagues for a combined 22 years. Mark led the NHL in plus/minus in 1986. He advanced to the 1985 and ‘87 Stanley Cup Finals with Philadelphia and with Detroit in 1995. He was also a three time runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.
Kellen Winslow Sr. set the standard for the modern tight end as part of “Air Coryell” during the 1980s. He was a five time pro-bowler and three time first team All-Pro. He led the NFL in receptions in 1980 and 1981.
Winslow’s most memorable game occurred in what many consider the greatest game in NFL history. In a game the Chargers won 41-38 in overtime, Winslow caught 13 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. He also blocked a late Miami field goal to keep the Chargers alive.
He son, Kellen Jr. was an All-American at the University of Miami and has twice had over 80 receptions in the NFL.
The Andrettis and the Unsers have one of the greatest family rivalries in sports. Mario Andretti won the 1969 Indianapolis 500, but then never won another again at the Brickyard in what has become referred to as the Andretti curse.
He also won 12 Formula One races, including the 1978 championship. He is the only driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula One championship.
Michael Andretti is the biggest star in Mario’s lineage. He had 42 IRL wins and was the Co-Rookie of the Year in Indianapolis in 1984.
His brother Jeff raced in five Indy 500’s from 1990-94.
Michael’s son Marco finished third at Indy in 2008. He became the youngest driver to win an IRL race when he won at Milwaukee later the same season.
Clay Matthews Sr. played four seasons for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s. His sons, Clay Jr. and Bruce had productive and extensive careers in the NFL from 1978-2001.
Clay Jr. played 19 years in the NFL after outstanding collegiate and high school careers at USC and legendary New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill. He played in four Pro Bowls during his career. After 16 years in Cleveland, he played his final three seasons in Atlanta.
Bruce Matthews also played 19 seasons in the NFL. He was a 14-time Pro Bowler and seven time All-Pro playing every position on the offensive line. His entire career was spent with the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, his first year of eligibility.
Clay Matthews III made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Green Bay Packers after recording 10 sacks. He has bolted out in the 2010 season with six sacks in his first two games. Some are suggesting he could threaten Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record of 22.5 set in 2001.
Ken Norton was a two-time heavyweight champion. He complied a 42-7-1 career record and defeated Muhammad Ali.
Ken Norton Jr. was a three time Pro Bowler and one time All-Pro player. He played 13 NFL seasons. The first six with the Dallas Cowboys and last seven with the San Francisco 49ers. In the 1992-94 seasons, Norton became the first player to win three consecutive Super Bowls. The first two with Dallas and then with S.F.
Norton is currently the linebackers coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to that he was the linebackers coach at USC. He currently coaches one his proteges, Lofa Tatupu, Clay Matthews was another player he coached at 'SC.
Al Unser came from a family of racers. His father competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill climb. His brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to drive in the Indianapolis 500. Al Unser Sr. was the second driver and one of only three total to win the Indy 500 four times. He is a member of the International and United States Motor Sports Halls of Fame. He is the oldest driver to have won at Indy and led the race for the most amount of laps all-time.
Al Unser Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and 1994. The Unsers are the only father-son multiple winners at the Brickyard. Unser Jr. won the 1990 and 1994 Cart/IRL Championship and won 34 Cart/IRL races during his career.
Calvin Hill played 12 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Cleveland Browns. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and earned first team All-Pro and Rookie of the Year in 1969. He played in two Super Bowls with the Cowboys, winning Superbowl V. In 1972, he became the first Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and followed it up with another 1K season a year later.
Grant Hill was a two time All-American at Duke University. He helped lead the Blue Devils to the 1991 and 1992 NCAA Championships and a runner-up finish in 1994. He is a part of one of the most famous plays in the history of college basketball. His 3/4 court pass to Christian Laettner led to the buzzer beater that gave the Blue Devils a 104-103 victory in the East Regional Final in Philadelphia. Hill was selected with the third pick by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA Draft.
Hill has had a productive career averaging 17.5 PPG. 6.5 RPG and 4.5 APG. His career has been hampered by injuries. At the conclusion of the 2000 season, Hill left Detroit and signed with the Orlando Magic. He played in only 47 games his first three seasons with the Magic.
He finally seems to have regained his health after landing in Phoenix for the 2007-08 season. Hill had played in at least 70 games each year in the Desert.
Dale Earnhardt is one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR history. The Intimidator won the Winston (now Sprint) Cup seven times, tying Richard Petty for the most ever. He had 76 wins in his career, 428 top-10 finishes and had pole position 22 times. In 2004, ESPN made a controversial movie about the star, titled 3:The Dale Earnhardt Story. He was a part of the inaugural class in the NASCAR Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Dale Jr. has carried on his father’s legacy. He has 18 Sprint Series wins, had held the pole 18 times and has finished in the top ten 149 times. He won the 2004 Daytona 500, marking the third time that a father son duo had done that.
Sandy Alomar had a 16-year major league career with six teams. He was a reserve on the Yankees 1976 American League Champions.
His sons Sandy Jr. and Roberto also enjoyed extensive and successful major league careers.
Sandy Jr. was the 1990 American League Rookie of the Year and won a Gold Glove with the Cleveland Indians. He was a six-time All-Star and played in five straight post-seasons with Cleveland from 1995-99. His 20-year major league career ended in 2007.
Roberto Alomar is a future Hall of Famer. He was a part of the 1991 and ‘92 World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays. He later played in the postseason with Baltimore and Cleveland.
The star seconds baseman played in 12 All-Star games, captured 10 Gold Glove and four Silver Slugger awards in his 17 year major league career. He was also the 1992 American League Championship series MVP and the 1998 All-Star Game MVP.
Joe Bryant enjoyed a modest eight-year NBA Career. He averaged 8.7 PPG with three teams. He is more famous for being the father of Kobe Bryant.
Kobe has been a part of five NBA Champions and one runner-up. Many consider him in the discussion of the greatest players in NBA History. He has led the NBA four times in points and twice in scoring average.
He has played in 12 All-Star Games, won the league MVP once, the All-Star MVP three times and was the finals MVP in 2009 and 2010. He has also been selected All-NBA 12 times and to the All-NBA Defensive Team 10 times. His 25.26 PPG ranks 10th in NBA history.
Like his son, Bobby Bonds was a mercurial player. He hit 332 career home runs and drove in 1,024 runs in an era when those number meant something. He was a three-time All-Star, three time gold-glove winner and was the MVP of the 1973 All-Star game. He had six seasons with over 30 home runs.
Barry Bonds is Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 and also holds the all-time record for walks with 2,558 in 22 seasons with Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He led the National League in a category an astounding 67 times. He led the NL in home runs and batting average twice and once in RBis. He won seven MVP awards (including four in a row from 2001-04), played in 14 All-Star Games and won eight golden glove awards. His 73 home runs in 2001 set the single-season record.
He is one of baseball most polarizing figures ever. He was a major figure in baseball’s steroid scandal. Although it was never proven that Bonds used performance enhancing drugs, there was a lot of evidence that suggested otherwise.
Archie Manning played 11 years in the NFL compiling the worst record for a quarterback with over 100 starts. Manning finished his career 35-101-3 and was sacked 396 times in 151 career games. Despite those dismal statistics, Manning was the star that shone bright on some brutally bad early Saints teams. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice and in 1978 was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Peyton Manning is in the argument for the best quarterback in NFL history. His 195 games started to begin a career are an NFL record. He is a 10-time pro-bowler, five time first team All-Pro and has three NFL MVP awards. He also holds the record for most 4,000-yard seasons and most consecutive 4K seasons.
He ranks in the top 10 in almost every career passing category. His 262.3 Passing yards per game rank first in NFL History.
Eli Manning entered the NFL with much fanfare. He was the first pick in the 2004 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. After refusing to play in San Diego, he was a draft-day trade to the New York Giants. In return San Diego received Philip Rivers and draft picks they used on future Pro Bowlers Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding and they traded one of the picks for lineman Roman Oben.
Eli had made one Pro Bowl and led the Giants to the title in Super Bowl XLII. The game ended the New England Patriots' hopes for an undefeated season.
The Griffeys set a record by becoming the first father and son to play in the same outfield and hit back-to-back home runs. Ken Griffey Sr. was the Cincinnati Reds starting right-fielder as they won back to back World Series in 1975 and ‘76. He won the 1980 All-Star Game MVP and finished in the top 10 in batting three times.
Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest two way players in baseball history. Griffey played during the steroid era and was never implicated as a player that juiced up. He managed to hit 630 home runs and led the American League in home runs four times. He was named to 13 All-Star Games, won 10 gold glove awards, and was twice named AL MVP.
If he had stayed healthy, Griffey would have undoubtedly be baseball’s all-time home run leader. Griffey was traded back home to Cincinnati from Seattle prior to the 2000 season. He never played more than 145 games in a season for the Reds.
The Hulls are the only father and son to both make the Hall of Fame in their respective sport. Bobby Hull led the Chicago Blackhawks to their only Stanley Cup between 1938 and 2010. He led his league in goals scored seven times and ranks 15th all time in goals scored. Bobby Hull appeared in 12 All-Star Games and was named all-league 17 times. He also paced the NHL in points three times.
During his career, Bobby Hull won three Art Ross (Scoring) Trophies, two Hart (most valuable player) Trophies and a Lady Byng (Sportsmanship) Trophy. He is still considered the greatest player in Chicago Blackhawks history nearly 40 years after leaving them for the World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets. Both the Blackhawks and the Jets (now the Phoenix Coyotes) have retired Hull’s No. 9.
Brett Hull ranks third all time in goals scored in the National Hockey League behind only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe. He is widely considered to the be the greatest sniper in NHL history.
He played in eight All-Star Games and was named all-league three times. He won the Lady Byng trophy in 1990 and the Hart and Lindsay Trophies in 1991. Hull scored the winning goal for the Dallas Stars as they captured the 1999 Stanley Cup, the only one in franchise history.
Despite being born in Canada, Hull decided to play for the United States national teams after the US team showed more interest in him. Hull’s mother is American. He represented the United States at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics.