Kevin Durant – Team USA Basketball
With Team USA down 15 to Australia in the Olympic Men’s Basketball semifinals, Kevin Durant put the team on his shoulders. A 13-point 3rd quarter and game-leading 29 points sent the US to the Gold Medal game against France, where another 29 points captured gold for the USA. In his three consecutive Gold Medal Game victories, Durant scored at least 29, with 30 in London and 30 in Rio. Durant also doubled down on his move to Brooklyn, inking a new 4-year extension with the Nets. The move brings some long-term security to the franchise, especially given what the Nets gave up in the trade for James Harden.
Anthony Rizzo – New York Yankees
New Yankee Anthony Rizzo made a statement in his first games in pinstripes. After coming over from the Cubs on the trade deadline, Rizzo swatted a deep HR in his first game before hitting another in his second. Rizzo became the first Yankee to ever record a RBI in each of his first 6 games, helping add a dynamic presence to the lineup. With Rizzo in the lineup, the Yankees went 8-1, and the wins keep them in the hunt for the Wild Card. Unfortunately, Rizzo tested positive for coronavirus, as the virus continues to be an issue in the Yankees clubhouse. Rizzo turned down vaccination while with the Cubs, and a long setback will definitely hurt the Yankees in the late season.
Dalilah Muhammad – Team USA Track & Field
Dalilah Muhammad, a native of Jamaica, Queens, looked to defend her gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics as she lined up for the women’s 400m hurles final. The highly anticipated race had her up against fellow American Sydney McLaughlin. Muhammad broke McLaughlin’s world record with a 51.58 race, but McLaughlin shattered her own record, finishing in 51.46 seconds. Dalilah took home silver, as well as a gold medal for the women’s 4x400m relay, making her home borough proud yet again.