10 of the best ASU athletes from 10 different sports

These 10 ASU athletes have accomplished a lot.​

ASU is home to countless exceptional athletes in all sports. This is not a ranked list, rather a list of 10 ASU athletes in 10 different sports who showed athletic achievement at ASU and beyond. This list is not written in stone — feel free to tell me how wrong I am for not including your favorite player.

Barry Bonds: ASU Baseball

Photo courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo | Contra Costa Times

The San Francisco Giant — a seven-time National League MVP and 14-time All-Star — was once taking at-bats for the Sun Devils. With 45 home runs, Bonds is the third-leading home run hitter at ASU and he also was a member of the 1983 and 1984 All-College World Series teams, according to Sun Devil Athletics. Although his career may be tainted with controversy, he still remains one of the best ASU baseball players ever.

Read more: ASU is baseball heaven for aspiring pros

Chris Jogis: ASU Badminton

Photo courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics

In 2007, Jogis was the third badminton player ever to be inducted into the Sun Devils Sports Hall of Fame. Jogis was a three-time national men's singles and doubles champion and a four-time All-American, according to Sun Devil Athletics. On top of all of that, the most decorated ASU badminton player ever earned the award of U.S. Olympic Committee Male Badminton Player of the Year.

Christine Garner: ASU Volleyball

Photo by Ben Moffat | The State Press

According to Sun Devil Athletics, Garner is ranked among the top ASU volleyball players in school history. She has a school record of 1,871 kills and totaled over 100 service aces and 1,000 digs — both of which are top-10 school records, according to Sun Devil Athletics. Garner helped ASU volleyball appear in the NCAA Tournament each of her four years at the school and was a member of the U.S. National Team in 1996 and 1997. 

James Harden: ASU Men's Basketball

Photo by Ben Moffat | The State Press

Another easy pick for this list is Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden. After his freshman season, Harden appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated college basketball preview issue and on many All-American lists. Harden played two seasons for ASU basketball, breaking out in his sophomore season. In the 2008-09 season, Harden averaged 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, according to Sports-Reference

Read more: ASU men's basketball retires James Harden's number

Kym Hampton: ASU Women's Basketball

Photo courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics

Hampton deserves to be in discussion for one of the greatest Sun Devil athletes of all time. She holds records for most points (2,361), blocked shots (178), field goal percentage (.545) and free throw percentage (.696). Hampton led ASU to two NCAA tournaments and one NIT tournament appearance, according to Sun Devil Athletics.

Pat Tillman: ASU Football

Photo by Jacob Stanek | The State Press

As one of the most famous ASU football players in history, the name Tillman is one of the most recognizable in ASU history. It's no accident that his name and brand of bravery and perseverance is stitched into the ASU football program. During the 1996 season, Tillman started every game, helping the team to a perfect regular season record, a Pac-10 championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl, according to Sun Devil Athletics. Tillman received many honors throughout his college career such as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All-American.

Read more: Honoring Pat: Tillman's legacy still alive at ASU

Kathy Escarcega: ASU Softball

Photo by Lauren Hornberger | The State Press

This ASU softball player earned All-Everything honors her freshman season and as a sophomore, All-WCAA and All-Regional. Escarcega's career batting average was .305, the third best in ASU history. She had seven career homeruns and was a member of the 1987 ASU softball team that appeared in the College World Series, according to Sun Devil Athletics

Phil Mickelson: ASU Men's Golf

Photo by Ben Moffat | The State Press

During his time at ASU, Mickelson won 16 collegiate tournaments, three NCAA titles and was a four-time All-American. Mickelson helped ASU claim its first NCAA men's golf crown in 1990, according to Sun Devil Athletics. He is considered one of the greatest amateur golfers of all-time and has won 42 events on the PGA Tour.

Read more: Devil Dish: Phil Mickelson comes just short of history

Jay Barrs: ASU Archery

Photo courtesy of Sun Devil Archery

Yes, ASU has an archery team. Barrs is the most notable archery alumnus, as a two-time national intercollegiate champion and 1988 gold and silver medal-winning Olympian, according to Sun Devil Athletics. He also was named U.S. Olympic Committee Male Archer of the Year in 1987 and finished third at the 1987 World Championship.

Katie Freeland: ASU Women's Gymnastics

Photo by J. Bauer-Leffler | The State Press

This three-time All-American and 1996 Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year is one of the most decorated ASU women's gymnastics alumna ever. Freeland's best activity was the vault, in which she tied for first and finished sixth nationally, according to Sun Devil Athletics. One of her most prestigious awards is the Pac-10 Medal of Honor, which is given to an outstanding senior athlete who demonstrates achievement in leadership, athletics and scholarship.

Read more: A Sun Devil's guide to gymnastics


Reach the reporter at anicla@asu.edu or follow @AndrewNiclaASU on Twitter

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