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Virginia's Mt. Rushmore of Sports

2/2/2009

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

Arthur Ashe (Richmond) -
The three-time Grand Slam winner is the only African American man to win the single's Wimbledon title (1975).

Bruce Smith (Norfolk, Virginia Tech Hokies) -
The Pro Football Hall of Famer is an 11-time Pro Bowl defensive end and the all-time NFL sack leader with 200 sacks.

Sam Snead (Ashwood) -
The seven-time major champion is the PGA Tour's all-time wins leader with 82.

Lawrence Taylor (Williamsburg) -
The ten-time Pro Bowl linebacker won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants.

Other standouts

Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech Hokies)
- 3rd-longest tenured head coach in Football Bowl Subdivision

Joe Gibbs (Washington Redskins)
- 3-time Super Bowl champion as head coach (1982, '87, '91)

Darrell Green (Washington Redskins)
- One of two players to play 20 seasons with same team (Jackie Slater); 2008 Hall of Fame inductee

Allen Iverson (Hampton)
- No. 1 overall pick in 1996 NBA Draft and 2001 NBA MVP

Moses Malone (Petersburg)
- 3-time NBA MVP (1979, '82, '83) and 2001 Hall of Fame inductee

Alonzo Mourning (Chesapeake)
- Won 51 straight games & state title as HS junior; starred at nearby Georgetown and 7-time NBA All Star

Ace Parker (Portsmouth)
- Starred in 5 sports in HS; College Football HoF (Duke), played both MLB and NFL in 1937-38, Named to Pro Football HoF in '72

Ralph Sampson (Harrisonburg, Virginia Cavaliers)
- 3-time Naismith Award winner (1981-83) and No. 1 overall pick in 1983 NBA Draft

Fran Tarkenton (Richmond)
- 9-time Pro Bowl quarterback and 1986 Hall of Fame inductee

Michael Vick (Newport News, Virginia Tech Hokies)
- No. 1 overall pick in 2001 NFL Draft

George Welsh (Virginia Cavaliers)
- 3-time National Coach of the Year and 5-time ACC Coach of the Year

David Wright (Norfolk)
- Virginia High School Player of the Year (2001) and 3-time National League All-Star with New York Mets

Other potential nominees: Tiki Barber (University of Virginia), Joe Smith (Norfolk)

While Virginia doesn't have any major professional sports teams, the bulk of the state falls within Washington Redskins territory, so a couple Redskins greats must be considered. Also, the team's headquarters are located in Ashburn, Va.