New Mexico's Mt. Rushmore of Sports


ESPN reviewed the submissions and discussions on your state/region's conversation page. The four figures on New Mexico's Sports Rushmore are below:

Al Unser (Albuquerque) -
The four-time Indy 500 Champion led the most laps in Indy 500 history (644). He's also the two-time CART series Champion. He was inducted into International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998

Tommy McDonald (Roy) -
The Hall of Famer was a six-time Pro Bowler. He led the NFL in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 1961 with 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Brian Urlacher (New Mexico Lobos) -
The six-time Pro Bowler has been named a first-team All Pro linebacker four times. He also was the 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year.

Nancy Lopez (Roswell) -
She won 48 titles, three Majors and more than $5 million on the LPGA Tour. She won the New Mexico women's amateur golf title at age 12 and was a five-time LPGA Player of the Year.

Other standouts (even more nominees in conversation)

Michael Cooper (New Mexico Lobos)
- Led UNM to '78 WAC title, played 12 seasons with Lakers, named to five 1st-team NBA All-Defense teams, 1987 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, won 5 NBA titles

Jim Everett (Eldorado High School)
- 12-yr NFL veteran, led NFL in pass TD in 1988, 1989, 3rd overall pick in 1986 draft

Lou Henson (Hardin-Simmons, New Mexico State Aggies)
- 779 all-time wins as college basketball coach at New Mexico State and Illinois, 15th on all-time win list, led NMSU to only Final Four in '70

Ralph Kiner (Santa Rita)
- Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, hit 369 career HR, 6-time All-Star, Led NL in HR for 7 consecutive seasons

Johnny Tapia (Albuquerque)
- 5-time boxing champion in 3-different weight classes (Junior Bantamweight, Bantamweight, and Featherweight)

Kenny Thomas (New Mexico Lobos)
- 10-yr NBA veteran, 4-year starter at New Mexico

Al Unser Jr. (Albuquerque)
- 2-time Indy 500 Champion, 2-time CART Series Champion, 2-time IROC Champion, 1994 ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year, 2nd-most earnings in Indy 500 history

Kathy Whitworth (Jal)
- 88 career wins is most by any golfer, 7-time LPGA Player of the Year, 8-time LPGA Tour money leader, AP Athlete of Year twice ('65, '67), 1957 and '58 New Mexico State Amateur Champion