Usain Bolt preparing for a race. (Photo by Derrel Johnson for Steed Media Service)

Usain Bolt preparing for a race. (Photo by Derrel Johnson for Steed Media Service)

2016 has been an excellent year in sports. Read on for some of the biggest sports plays and moments of the year.

The block by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors looked poised to take a two-point lead when Andre Iguodala dribbled down the court for a dunk. But the chase-down specialist James made the biggest block of his career.

Usain Bolt won three gold medals for the third time.  At the age of 30, many doubted whether the Jamaican sprinter would be able to repeat the success he experienced in 2008 and 2012 with multiple gold medals. Known as the “triple-triple,” the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, attempted, and secured, three gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Kyrie Irving hit a three-pointer for the lead in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. With the game tied, Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue called the number of Kyrie Irving, who nailed the game-winning basket over two-time defending NBA MVP Stephen Curry for a 92-89 lead 53 seconds left for the final field goal of Game 7, giving the team the NBA Championship and ending 52 years of the city going without a championship in any major sport.

Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win swimming gold. Competing in the 100-meter freestyle, the Stanford University student became the first African-American woman to win individual Olympic gold with her historic win.

Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim-American to medal wearing a hijab. The New Jersey native made history at the 2016 Rio Games, becoming the first American to win a medal while wearing a hijab.

Villanova’s Kris Jenkins nailed a buzzer-beater to send Crying Jordan and North Carolina home as losers. After Marcus Paige tied the score on an improbable, double-clutch three-pointer with four seconds left, Michael Jordan and the North Carolina Tarheel fans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas celebrated. It was short-lived, as, without a timeout, Villanova pushed the ball up the court and Kris Jenkins hit an open three to bring the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship home for the Wildcats.

Kobe Bryant dropped 60 points in his career farewell. As only the Black Mamba could do, the Los Angeles Lakers icon scored 60 points in the final game of his career at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Von Miller stripped and sacked Cam Newton to preserve the Super Bowl win for the Denver Broncos. With possession of the ball and trailing the Denver Broncos 16-10, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers had visions of driving for a game-winning touchdown, but defensive end and eventual Super Bowl MVP Von Miller strip-sacked Newton, Denver recovered the ball and eventually scored to seal the victory.

Derrel Johnson

Lover of Christ, sports, hip-hop, my hometown of Harlem and much more. IG @JazzJohnson1