There is something about athletes that inspire the best in people. Their lives have such compelling tales that capture the heart and imagination of fans and sports enthusiasts everywhere. Among the top players and fighters of all time are Muslim athletes who have served as inspiration to many. Here are five of the many great Muslim athletes out there.
Highlights: Nigerian-American professional basketball player whose career spanned roughly 18 years, touted as one of the greatest NBA players in history; received several accolades such as two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time NBA Finals MVP, Leading Shot-Blocker in NBA History, and more
Highlights: Pakistan’s greatest cricketer with a career that spanned 21 years. Imran Khan
Is an excellent all-around cricketer and considered to be one of the greatest of all time. He and his teammates at the Pakistan national team won the country’s first cricket World Cup in 1992. Among this accolades include the ICC Hall of Fame and three-time Player of the Year.
Highlights: One of the most recognizable names in NBA’s history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has established his dominance on the court and was even known for his signature “sky-hook”. He retired at the age of 42 and has received numerous honors including six-time NBA Champion, six-time NBA MVP, 10-time All-NBA First Team, Five-time All-Defensive First Team. He is regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA History.
Michael Gerard “Mike” Tyson
Highlights: In 1986, the twenty-year old Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He served time in prison and later returned to boxing after his release. He went on to win the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles. He continued to struggle with issues like drug abuse in his personal life. His ability to bounce back allowed him to continue to become one of the best fighters in the world.
Highlights: Muhammad Ali is a world-renowned boxing athlete who was also an activist and philantrophist. He was a Light Heavy Weight Gold Medalist at the 1960 Olympics and a three-time World Heavyweight Champion. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. His battle with Parkinson’s disease was widely known but he continued to be an inspiring sports figure over the years.