Top 12 Athletes to Wear #12 in Past 12 Years

On this 12/12/12 we felt it was fitting to honor the top 12 athletes to don No. 12 on the back of their jerseys in the past 12 years. From women's basketball to hockey (yes, finally some hockey) this list takes all the athletes that have worn number 12 in the new millennium and ranks them down to the best.

12. Andrew Luck

While Andrew Luck hasn’t even finished his first full season in the NFL, think of what he’s accomplished so far and then it's a little more realistic as to how he has cracked this list. After seemingly single-handedly leading Stanford back to relevance in the college football landscape, Luck has taken the NFL by storm and made some Colts fans forget about former Indianapolis legend, Peyton Manning. With one more win, the Colts will guarantee a trip to the playoffs this season. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. As expected, no one.

11. Diana Taurasi

Name a single significant award in women’s basketball and Diana Taurasi has won it. This may sounds over the top, but it’s true. From her dominant days at UConn, to her continued success in Olympic basketball and the WNBA, Diana Taurasi has proven herself as one of the greatest female athletes to ever live. Side note: I don’t usually get personal like this, but Taurasi is easily my crush in the sports world. She plays with a passion that is unparalleled in women’s basketball, and wins at everything she does.

10. Kirk Hinrich

Maybe known better for his days as Kansas University’s starting point guard, Kirk Hinrich has still made a great career for himself in the NBA. So far, in his 10-year career, Hinrich has averaged 12.5 points per game, adding 5.4 assists per game. Kirk isn’t quite as flashy as the other members of this list, but he’s been able to start for a number of clubs, proving that he’s had to consistently earn his spot in the NBA.

9. LaMarcus Aldridge

While Aldridge certainly doesn’t have as many awards as other members on this list, his consistently impressive numbers have earned him a spot with this bunch. The University of Texas grad’s career stats include averaging 17.8 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. Aldridge has been the face of the Portland Trailblazers ever since Brandon Roy announced his retirement due to recurring injuries in 2009. LaMarcus continues to improve his game, as he made the All-NBA Third Team in 2011, and was voted to his first All-Star team last season.

8. Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano cam on the scene when the New York Yankees were in the middle of yet another dynasty period. Soriano won two World Series titles with New York before making stops in Texas, Washington, and now Chicago. The pesky second basemen/outfielder is also known for making 7 MLB All-Star teams and joining the “40-40 club” (steals and home runs) while playing for the Nationals in the 2006 season.

7. Jeff Kent

While Kent isn’t even the best second basemen on this list (a little foreshadowing), he is the all-time leader in home runs among second basemen, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Among several other honors, Kent is known for winning the NL MVP while playing for the San Francisco Giants in the 2000 season.

6. Jarome Iginla

Finally, a chance to talk about something related to hockey that doesn’t include the word “lockout.” Jarome Iginla comfortably makes this list as the Calgary Flames all-time leader in goals, points, and games played. Iginla has also been a First Team All-Star 3 times, and won the Maurice Richard Trophy (leading goal scorer in a season) twice. When (or if) the lockout ends, Iginla will be playing in his 18th season in the NHL.

5. Dwight Howard

Say what you want about Dwight Howard, but the man can ball. And that’s all he’s done since he came into the NBA. At the age of 27, Howard has already made 6 All-Star team’s, won 3 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award’s, and made 5 All-NBA First Team’s. Quite a resume for an individual that seems to always be surrounded by controversy.

4. Roberto Alomar

Alomar was one of the greatest second basemen in baseball history, as he played in 12 All-Star Games, won 10 Gold Glove Awards and is now in the Hall of Fame. While he played for eight different big league clubs over his 17-year career, Alomar may be best remembered for his time in Toronto where he won back-to-back World Series titles with the Blue Jays.

3. Aaron Rodgers

Little did we know that the backup to legendary Packer quarterback Brett Favre might actually end up going down as the more successful player when all is said and done. In his second year at starting quarterback in 2009, Rodgers led Green Bay to an 11-5 record and a trip to the playoffs. The following season Rodgers capitalized on his experience and took Green Bay a few steps further, as they went on to win their second Super Bowl title in team history. Since that historic run through the playoffs, Rodgers has been a top-3 quarterback in the NFL, and has made it clear that he will carry the torch that will eventually be passed down from the likes of current QB greats in Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning.

2. John Stockton

Plain and simple, John Stockton is easily one of the best (if not the best) point guard’s to ever play the game of basketball. He is the all-time leader in assists, by a margin of more than 4,000. No, that is not a typo. Stockton also holds the NBA record for steals (3,265). These stats alone may have landed him high on this list, but just for good measure John was also a 10-time NBA All-Star, a 6-time All-NBA Second Team member, and led the Jazz to the NBA Finals in the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Quite a career, indeed.

1. Tom Brady

Brady has led the Patriots to the best record in the AFC East each year he’s been at quarterback. He has won 5 AFC titles, 3 Super Bowl’s, and 2 MVP’s. He also has 1 amazing wife in super-model Giselle Bundchen. Yes, Mr. Brady has done it all and is not only the best No. 12 to ever play, but may also be the best football player of any number all-time.

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