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Lighthouses - best in your own country at your sport by ridiculous levels

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    #76
    Originally posted by anton pulisov View Post
    You have to think that Rik Smits would have been even better if he had grown up in a basketball playing environment instead of the Netherlands.
    I think this has been discussed here, because I recall being illuminated to the existence of korfball, but the tallest country in the word having produced exactly one good NBA player is bizarre.

    Smits had good skills for a big man, in particular a pretty nice jump shot IIRC. His main problem was the curse of the ultra tall big man - he was maybe the tallest player ever to have a good career besides Yao Ming - issues with his feet.
    Last edited by Flynnie; 26-03-2019, 20:51.

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      #77
      Garo Yepremian won two SuperBowls. There aren't many Cypriotic NFL players who can boast about that.

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        #78
        I'm not sure we can have any Argentine rugby player, given the level they've reached generally over the last fifteen or twenty years. I'm not sure who the second-best Argentine rugby player of all time is, but he's definitely not nowhere.

        For Argentina it's going to be individual sports, I think. SebastiŠn Crismanich, who won gold at the London Olympics in taekwondo, could well be one. Similarly Paula Pareto, who's got two Olympic medals (one bronze and one gold, plus a fifth-place finish in between them) and loads of Panamerican and South American games titles, is far and away the country's greatest judoka.

        I thought Pablo Cuevas might be a shout for Uruguayan tennis, but I've had a look and there are a couple of others at a similar (if not quite as high) level to the one he reached, a few years before I started paying attention.

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          #79
          Andrey Amador, Costa Rican cyclist? Not sure any others have made the Pro Conti level, let alone been a World Tour / Grand Tour challenger.

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            #80
            John Part was for years the only beacon in Canadian Darts - 3 time World Champion between 1994 and 2008. It wasn't until Jeff Smith broke onto the scene at Lakeside in 2015 that another Canadian name became known in the game.

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              #81
              Originally posted by Sam View Post
              I'm not sure we can have any Argentine rugby player, given the level they've reached generally over the last fifteen or twenty years. I'm not sure who the second-best Argentine rugby player of all time is, but he's definitely not nowhere.
              Arguably Huga Porta!
              Juan Martin Hernandez was rated as the best full-back in the World, and in the running for the best back overall when he was at Stade Francais and led Argentina to the World Cup Semi-Finals (playing out of position at fly half!). I don't remember if Hernandez was ever voted World Player of the Year, but he was surely close to it for a few years. Porta was far ahead of his teammates at the time, but I'm not sure he was rated as better than his counterpart in the All Blacks/England/France/etc teams of the time. Hernandez was. Ergo, I reckon Hernandez is the best player Argentina has produced.

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                #82
                I think you could make a good case for Chris Boardman, prior to signing for GAN.

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                  #83
                  Originally posted by ingoldale View Post
                  I think you could make a good case for Chris Boardman, prior to signing for GAN.
                  Add to this Beryl Burton and Nicole Cooke.

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                    #84
                    Originally posted by Janik View Post
                    Arguably Huga Porta!
                    Juan Martin Hernandez was rated as the best full-back in the World, and in the running for the best back overall when he was at Stade Francais and led Argentina to the World Cup Semi-Finals (playing out of position at fly half!). I don't remember if Hernandez was ever voted World Player of the Year, but he was surely close to it for a few years. Porta was far ahead of his teammates at the time, but I'm not sure he was rated as better than his counterpart in the All Blacks/England/France/etc teams of the time. Hernandez was. Ergo, I reckon Hernandez is the best player Argentina has produced.
                    Porta is considered an all-time great flyhalf, probably the best flyhalf of the 80s.

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                      #85
                      Might Joseph Parker be in with a shout? He's a top ten heavyweight in the world, but I can spot very few other contemporary New Zealand fighters in any division.

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                        #86
                        I'm no expert in Uzbek cycling but I'm gonna suggest the man with one of the greatest names in pro sport Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, the Tashkent Terror. 3 green jerseys in the TdF

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                          #87
                          Originally posted by diggedy derek View Post
                          Might Joseph Parker be in with a shout? He's a top ten heavyweight in the world, but I can spot very few other contemporary New Zealand fighters in any division.
                          David Tua would probably have something to say about that.

                          Yan Gomes is another lighthouse. Sao Paulo - nowhere else in Brazil produces any baseball talent - has somehow produced five MLB players in the last five years. Gomes has been bitten by the injury bug and had a weird slump in form in the middle of his career (possibly due to injuries), but really is quite a good catcher and made the All-Star team in 2017 or 2018, I can't remember.

                          There's a few Brazilians (again from Sao Paulo, coincidentally the Japanese capital of Brazil) who have made it to NPB in Japan, but I don't think any have had the impact Gomes has had there. Yuichi Matsumoto had a 16 year career, but he was the Japanese equivalent of a 4A guy, ie not really good enough to stick around in the first team.

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                            #88
                            Oh all time right.

                            djamolidine abdoujaparov is a name I learned to say as a young teenager and have retained the ability to do so for decades without using it, like cycling a bike

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                              #89
                              Flora Duffy

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                                #90
                                Bart King, an American cricketer who was among the early pioneers of swing bowling. Although much of his cricket was played in Philadelphia club cricket, he made three tours of England with the Philadelphians. In 1908 he topped the English first class bowling averages with 87 wickets at 11.01. Following one of the earlier tours, one county apparently was willing to arrange for him to marry a widow with an annual income of £7000 to try and persuade him to join them.

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                                  #91
                                  Ole Mortenson. Can't think of many or indeed any Danish cricketers.

                                  Danish Kaneria doesn't count on a number of levels.

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