When it comes to sports, I tend to be a Houston fan - chalk it up to all the time I spent visiting my grandparents in Houston as a kid and the fact that Austin has no pro sports teams, but it is what it is. However, I also strongly support teams that feature fantastic players with amazing stories. One of these players is Kawhi Leonard.
I won't get too detailed here, but Kawhi is a spotlight-shunning, gentle giant of a player who is a beast on the court, preventing even the best shooters from scoring, while silently avoiding all of the fame that typically follows the NBA stars. A few years ago, I started following Leonard after reading an article about the trials he'd been through as a teenager (his father was shot at the car wash he owned in Compton when Kawhi was a junior in high school), as well as the super-human features Leonard possesses (at 6'7" tall, Leonard has a 7'3" arm span...he also has massive hands that rival Shaq's, yet Leonard is a solid shooter).
"I don't like to bring attention to myself. I don't like to make a scene."
Kawhi Leonard is the youngest player to ever win the NBA Finals MVP, an NBA Championship and the Defensive Player of the Year award, and at (now) 24 years old, he's just getting started. His effectiveness as a San Antonio Spur has allowed the older Spurs stars like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to continue playing.
I highly recommend that you read Sports Illustrated's recent article about Leonard: "The Island of Kawhi." He is a force to be reckoned with, yet lives an extremely respectable humble and hard-working lifestyle while striving to become the best player he can be.
Here's to the professional athletes who make me proud to be a sports fan!