The Most Common Names in Sports

James RiggioContributor ISeptember 30, 2010

The Most Common Names in Sports

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    There are many sports figures around the globe that happen to have the same name as another athlete. Some spell their names differently, some spell them the same way. Hall of Fame basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the biggest name in sports who shares a name with another athlete. Ironically, they both have another thing in common as they both attended UCLA.

Karim Abdul-Jabbar

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    Like the basketball player, this Karim Abdul-Jabbar changed his name. A former star running back at Los Angeles' Dorsey High before he played at UCLA, he was born Sharmon Shah. Abdul-Jabbar played in the NFL from 1996 to 2000, most notably with the Miami Dolphins.


Kevin Prince

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    Sticking with UCLA, its current starting quarterback is Kevin Prince.

Kevin-Prince Boateng

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    Kevin-Prince Boateng was born in Germany to a Ghanian family. He was one of the stars for Ghana in the 2010 World Cup. He now plays for AC Milan in Italy.

Roy L. Williams

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    Now with the Bengals, the safety was drafted eighth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2002 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma.

Roy E. Williams

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    The wide receiver was drafted seventh overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions out of the University of Texas. At one time in his career, he was teammates with Roy L. Williams.

Roy A. Williams

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    A legendary coach in college basketball, this Roy Williams coached at the University of Kansas from 1988 to 2003. He then returned to his alma mater, North Carolina, where he has led the Tar Heels to two national championships.

Larry D. Johnson

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    This Larry Johnson was the top pick in the 1991 NBA Draft after playing at UNLV.

Larry A. Johnson

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    This Larry Johnson most notably was a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He also has played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins.

Steve L. Smith

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    Born Stevonne Latrall Smith, the Carolina Panthers wide receiver grew up in Los Angeles and played at Santa Monica City College before moving on to the University of Utah.

Steve Smith

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    This Steve Smith also grew up in Los Angeles. But unlike the other Steve Smith, this one was a top recruit out of Taft High School and moved on to play four years at USC.

Steven D. Smith

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    This Smith was another tall guard out of Michigan State who enjoyed a long, successful NBA career.

Stephen J. Jackson

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    Jackson is a veteran who has played with six NBA clubs and is currently with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Steven R. Jackson

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    Jackson has been one of the top running backs in the NFL in recent years as a member of the St. Louis Rams.

Steven N. Jackson

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    This Jackson is currently a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Eric W. Davis

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    Davis spent 13 years in the NFL as a defensive back, most notably with the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers.

Eric K. Davis

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    In the mid 1980s some thought this Davis would be the next Willie Mays. Injuries hurt Davis' chances at being like Mays. He finished his career with 282 home runs.

William Felton 'Bill' Russell

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    No player in NBA history has won as many titles as Russell's 11 with the Boston Celtics.

William E. 'Bill' Russell

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    This Bill Russell was a longtime shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1970s and 80s. He later managed the club in the late 1990s.

Jason X. Williams

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    Williams is a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and was selected by the team in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Jason C. Williams

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    This Jason Williams is a veteran NBA point guard who played at the University of Florida.

Jason 'Jay' D. Williams

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    Not wanted to get others confused, the former Duke star became Jay in the NBA. Unfortunately, his career ended too soon as he was never able to full recover from a motorcycle accident. But Williams, who was an excellent student, has become an ESPN basketball analyst and a motivational speaker.

Jayson Williams

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    This Williams played in the NBA in the 1990s. But he is now in prison for his role in the death of limousine driver.

Alberto 'Jimmy' Fontana

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    Alberto 'Jimmy' Fontana was the starting goalie Italian Serie A side Palermo even after his 40th birthday. Now 43, he is retired. Fontana used the nickname 'Jimmy' after Italian singer Jimmy Fontana and so he would not be confused with Alberto Maria Fontana, who ironically is also a starting goalie in Italian soccer.

Pak Nam-Chol

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    Pak Nam-Chol was both No. 4 and No. 14 on North Korea's 2010 World Cup roster. Only No. 4 (pictured) appeared in one of the three games the North Koreans played in.

Chris B. Young

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    This Chris Young is the Arizona Diamondbacks' starting center fielder.

Chris R. Young

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    At 6-foot-10, this Chris Young might be confused for a basketball player. But he is actually a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres.

Chris L. Young

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    This Chris Young was a defensive back for the Denver Broncos from 2003 to 2005.

Jose A. Reyes

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    Having played with many top clubs in Europe, Jose Antonio Reyes is now with Atletico Madrid. He has appeared 21 times for the Spanish National Team, including in the 2006 World Cup. He did not make the team in 2010 when Spain won the World Cup.

Jose B. Reyes

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    This Jose Reyes is the New York Mets' staring shortstop.

Derek L. Anderson

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    This Derek Anderson played basketball at Kentucky and then in the NBA with seven teams from 1997 until 2008.

Derek M. Anderson

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    The veteran NFL quarterback is now with the Arizona Cardinals.

David E. Andersen

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    Andersen used to be with the Houston Rockets, but now plays for the Toronto Raptors.

David K. Anderson

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    This David Anderson is a fifth-year wide receiver with the Houston Texans.