Lots can change in two years, but right now, O’Dea’s Paolo Banchero (basketball) and Eastside Catholic’s J.T. Tuimoloau (football) are arguably the top recruits in the country in their respective sport for the class of 2021.
So it got us thinking at Scorebook Live — who are the best different-sport athletes of all-time in Washington coming out of the same graduating class?
The criteria is somewhat fluid, but one directive has to be clear — overall impact in a particular sport, at whatever level.
Here are our top five boys’ tandems (and in a couple of cases, trios), and top three girls’ duos of all time:
BOYS CLASS OF 2002
Bellarmine Prep’s Jon Lester (baseball) and Rainier Beach’s Nate Robinson /Garfield’s Brandon Roy (basketball)
Let’s see, a class with the best left-handed pitcher in state history, and two of the best Seattle metro basketball stars who played in the NBA? This choice was a slam-dunk No. 1 selection.
Did we mention that this class also had other high-profile graduates, including Kennewick’s Adam Carriker (NFL), Clover Park’s Shelton Sampson (two-sport standout at Washington) and Garfield’s Isaiah Stanback (NFL, Pac-12 track champion)?
Lester, the Gatorade state baseball of the year in 2000, has flourished in the biggest major-league markets, serving as a bona fide ace pitcher.
Boston’s second-round pick of 2006 has won two World Series titles with the Red Sox (2007, 2013) and one with the Chicago Cubs (2016). He is approaching 200 big-league victories.
Roy not only was hailed as one of the true four-year deliverers in UW men’s basketball (2002-06; Pac-10 player of the year as a senior), he lifted the spirits of an NBA city in Portland after he was the Trail Blazers’ first-round pick in 2006 (No. 6 overall).
Roy was the NBA’s rookie of the year in 2007, and three-time Western Conference All Star before a degenerative knee injury cut his professional career short.
Then there is Robinson, who despite his diminutive size (5-foot-8) is arguably the top three-sport standout (basketball, football, track and field) the state has ever seen.
He led Rainier Beach to a Class 3A basketball title at point guard. Purely on his explosive jumping ability, he once held the all-time Washington mark in the 110-meter high hurdles (13.85 seconds). And he earned a football scholarship to the UW as a defensive back.
Robinson was a first-round pick of the New York Knicks in 2005, played for eight NBA teams and was the first three-time NBA dunk champion (did we mention his jaw-dropping vertical jump ability?).
BOYS CLASS OF 1948
Richland’s Gene Conley (baseball, basketball) and Bremerton’s Don Heinrich (football)
A yesteryear tandem this high at No. 2?
Those who watched Conley excel at the highest level in two sports might argue this ranking is too low.
The 6-foot-9 giant who led Richland to its first state basketball title (1947) became the first and only person to win world championships in baseball (1958 World Series title with Milwaukee) and basketball (three-time NBA champion with Boston in 1959-61).
In major league baseball, Conley was a four-time All Star, finishing third in the National League rookie of the year voting in 1954 (ahead of slugging teammate Hank Aaron). He won 91 games, and finished with a career earned-run average of 3.82.
In the NBA, Conley played six seasons total with the Celtics and New York Knicks, amassing 2,069 points and 2,212 rebounds in 351 games.
The West Sound’s most accomplished athlete all-time, Heinrich guided the Knights to an undefeated record and state football championship in 1947 before going on to set UW passing records and become the Huskies’ only two-time All-American quarterback (and was 3-0 as the starter against Washington State in the Apple Cup).
As a pro, Heinrich played in three NFL championship games with the New York Giants, including one as the starter of the 1956 title-winning team under offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi.
Heinrich later became members of the UW football and Seattle Seahawks’ broadcasting teams.
BOYS CLASS OF 1988
Cheney’s Steve Emtman (football) and North Thurston’s Kasey Keller (soccer)
Again, much like our top class, 1988 was full of elite-talent depth.
And with Emtman and Keller, a case could be made that they were the top athletes ever from Washington to represent their respective sports.
Emtman, the unheralded hulk out of Cheney, was the nation’s top defensive player in 1991 as a unanimous All-American, winning the Outland and Lombardi Trophies and placing fourth as the UW’s highest Heisman Trophy finisher.
He was the top overall selection of the 1992 NFL Draft by Indianapolis, but saw his pro career limited to six seasons by knee injuries.
Keller, a three-time Parade All-American in high school for the Rams, was a true trailblazer for U.S. goalkeepers going overseas to play against the best in the world.
He had a 17-year international career, playing for powerhouse English Premier League clubs such as Leicester City (1996-99), Tottenham Hotspur (2001-05) and Fulham (2007-08).
Keller made a record total of 102 appearances for the U.S. National Team between 1990-2007, including in four FIFA World Cups. He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year three times (1997, 1999, 2005).
In 2009, Keller returned to his native area to become the Seattle Sounders first goalkeeper of the Major League Soccer era. He is in the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Other standouts of this class included Franklin’s Mario Bailey (record-setting UW wide receiver who was NFL Europe’s all-time receptions leader), Rainier Beach’s Doug Christie (15-year NBA veteran drafted by Seattle Supersonics) and Eatonville’s Brandon Jumper (one of state’s top running backs who went to Oregon).
BOYS CLASS OF 1992
Mount Vernon’s Mark Hendrickson (basketball, baseball) and Lincoln of Tacoma’s Lawyer Milloy (football)
Not the deepest class of next-level athletes, but Hendrickson’s underrated dual-sport career and Milloy’s booming football prowess were enough to lift them to the No. 4 spot all-time.
Few teenagers can boast a better high school career in two team sports than the 6-foot-9 Hendrickson, who led the Bulldogs to back-to-back Class 3A state basketball titles (1990-92) and was named the Gatorade state player of the year as a senior.
In baseball, Hendrickson was part of Mount Vernon state championships in 1990 and 1992. He even qualified for the state tennis tournament.
Hendrickson went on to play power forward in basketball and pitcher in baseball at WSU, and was all-Pac-10 in both sports.
And then he became the 12th athlete to have a professional career in the NBA (with four teams from 1996-2000) and MLB (with five teams from 2002-2011).
If Milloy wasn’t such a spectacular enforcer-type safety, he easily could have joined Hendrickson in the exclusive professional two-sport fraternity.
The Abes’ star was a heck of a pitching/outfield prospect, and was taken twice in the MLB Draft (he even faced Hendrickson when the two Pac-10 rivals played eight times a season).
But Milloy’s sport was football, and the unanimous All-American performer for the Huskies (and Jim Thorpe Award winner) in 1995 was so impressive in pre-NFL Draft meetings, he charmed even the most headstrong coaches in the league – New England’s Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.
The second-round pick of the Patriots in 1996 went on to be a four-time Pro Bowl defensive back, a first-team All-Pro (1999) and Super Bowl champion (2001).
BOYS CLASS OF 2000
Decatur’s Apolo Ohno (speed skating), Blaine’s Luke Ridnour (basketball) and Cascade of Everett’s Grady Sizemore (baseball)
So many great classes could have filled this No. 5 slot – 1981 with Shadle Park’s Mark Rypien and Centralia’s Detlef Schrempf; 1993 with Franklin’s Corey Dillon, North Thurston’s Mike Sellers and Prairie’s Richie Sexson; 1997 with Ellensburg’s Ja’Warren Hooker and Woodinville’s Marques Tuiasosopo, and so on – but the tiebreaker for the 2000 group was an eight-time Winter Olympic medalist (Ohno).
Ohno is not only a world-class athlete, having captured Olympic gold medals in the 1,500 meters in 2002, and 500 meters in 2006, he turned himself into a bona fide worldwide celebrity.
In all, he won 32 medals, 12 of them gold (one at world junior championships, eight at world championships and two at the Olympics).
Quietly, Ridnour went about his business as a pass-first point guard.
He won back-to-back Class 2A basketball titles at Blaine (1999. 2000), earning Parade and McDonald’s All-American honors as a senior.
Ridnour set the career assists record at the University of Oregon (218) en route to Pac 10 player of the year honors in 2003.
He ended up playing in the NBA for 12 seasons after being selected 14th overall by the Seattle Supersonics in 2003.
Sizemore was signed to go to the UW to play football and baseball, but when the Montreal Expos selected him in the third round of the 2000 MLB Draft, and offered a hefty signing bonus, he entered the professional ranks.
And for a three-year stretch, there were few better five-tool outfielders in the big leagues than Sizemore, who was a three-time American League All Star (2006-08), a two-time Gold Glove winner (2007-08) and Silver Slugger Award winner (2008) for the Cleveland Indians.
Sizemore played for three more organizations, but was never the same after a second microfracture knee surgery in 2013.
THE HONORABLE MENTION ’21’
1954: Luther Carr, Lincoln of Tacoma (football, track, baseball) and Bill Wright, Franklin (golf, basketball)
1963: Charlie Greene, O’Dea (track) and Dave Williams, Lincoln of Tacoma (football)
1964: Gerry Lindgren, Rogers of Spokane (track) and Don Moore, Lincoln of Tacoma (football)
1967: Don Kardong, Monroe (distance running) and Bobby Moore, Mount Tahoma (football, track)
1969: Casey Carrigan, Orting (track) and Terry Metcalf, Franklin (football, track)
1973: Floyd Bannister, Kennedy Catholic (baseball) and James Edwards, Roosevelt (basketball)
1975: Phil and Steve Mahre, Naches (downhill skiing) and Clint Richardson, O’Dea (basketball)
1977: Fred Couples, O’Dea (golf) and Curt Marsh, Snohomish (football)
1981: Mark Rypien, Shadle Park (football, basketball) and Detlef Schrempf, Centralia (basketball)
1982: James Hasty, Franklin (football) and Darrell Robinson, Wilson (track)
1985: Pat Galbraith, Bellarmine Prep (tennis), Timm Rosenbach, Pullman (football) and Quin Snyder, Mercer Island (basketball)
1991: Damon Huard, Puyallup/Jon Kitna, Lincoln of Tacoma (football) and Donny Marshall, Federal Way (basketball)
1993: Corey Dillon, Franklin/Mike Sellers, North Thurston (football) and Richie Sexson, Prairie (baseball, basketball)
1994: Michael Dickerson, Federal Way (basketball) and Benji Olson, South Kitsap (football)
1995: Brock Huard, Puyallup (football) and Jason Terry, Franklin (basketball)
1997: Ja’Warren Hooker, Ellensburg (track) and Marques Tuiasosopo, Woodinville (football)
2001: Ryan Moore, Cascade Christian (golf) and Reggie Williams, Lakes (football)
2003: Aaron Brooks, Franklin/Adam Morrison, Mead (basketball) and Tim Lincecum, Liberty (baseball)
2005: Jon Brockman, Snohomish (basketball) and Jonathan Stewart, Timberline (football)
2006: Spencer Hawes, Seattle Prep (basketball) and Jake Locker, Ferndale (football)
2011: DeAndre Yedlin, O’Dea (soccer) and Kasen Williams, Skyline (football, track)
GIRLS CLASS OF 1984
Shorecrest’s Michelle Akers (soccer) and Creston’s Tammy Tibbles (basketball)
Given that Akers is on the short list of greatest women’s soccer players in U.S. history, named the FIFA female player of the century, this was an easy selection for the top spot.
In fact, Akers starred as a three-time All American at Shorecrest at the same time Shorewood’s Lori Henry played. Both were members of this 1984 class, and were starters on the same U.S. Women’s National Team that won the 1991 World Cup.
It was a 1991 season for the ages as Akers tallied an astounding 39 goals in 26 matches, including 10 in the World Cup. She scored both goals in the finals match – a 2-1 U.S. victory over Norway.
In all, Akers made 155 national-team appearances, including 107 starts, from 1985-2000.
Tibbles was the first true small-school girls basketball standout who flashed a no-hesitation stroke from any spot on the floor. When she left in 1984, she was the state’s all-time leading scorer (2,568 points) – then left four years later with the Gonzaga University career mark (2,011 points).
GIRLS CLASS OF 1993
Federal Way’s Justi Baumgardt (soccer) and Lakes’ Kate Starbird (basketball)
If you like lots of scoring, few athletes were better than these two standouts in their respective sport.
Baumgardt was a four-time SPSL first-team midfielder who led the Eagles to the No. 1 national ranking in her final two years (1991, 1992). She tallied a school-record 98 career goals.
After that, she became the University of Portland’s all-time assists leader (50), then made 16 appearances with the U.S. Women’s National Team between 1993-98.
The things about Starbird, a two-time Parade All-American for the Lancers, is that she could score against any defense – and defender. By the time she left, she had totaled a state-record 2,753 points.
At Stanford, Starbird won the 1997 Naismith Award for college’s top women’s player, and graduated with the Cardinal all-time scoring mark – 2,215 points.
Starbird went on to play three seasons in the American Basketball League with the Seattle Reign (1997-99) and five seasons in the WNBA (1999-2002; 2004).
GIRLS CLASS OF 1982
Gig Harbor’s Ericka Harris (track and field) and Meadowdale’s Rosalynn Sumners (ice skating)
Again, so many classes could easily fill this spot at No. 3. But with Sumners’ international success on the ice, and Harris’ one historic race, this impressive tandem got the nod.
Despite being an elite athlete, Harris isn’t as well-known as other standouts – primarily because her peak performance came before graduation.
But when the rangy speedster ran a blistering 400 meters in 51.45 seconds, it instantly became the fifth-fastest time ever nationally for a high school runner (and is just outside the top 10 now).
Her 51.45 is still two seconds faster than any girl in Washington has ever ran in the 400. Union’s Jai’lyn Merriweather went 53.83 in 2017.
Sumners never competed in any WIAA sports activity, but “Roz” won her first big all-around title at the 1980 World Juniors – then was a three-time national champion (1981-84), world champion (1982-83) and silver medalist in the 1984 Winter Olympics to East German star Katarina Witt.