Skip to content

Muhammad Ali and 4 other fathers we thank for passing down athletic genes

Photo credit: Instagram – @thereallailaali

Some of the millennium’s best athletes are children of professional athletes themselves. Here are five of the best two generation combinations in sports.

Mychal Thompson and Klay Thompson

Mychal was a part of the 1986-87 “Showtime Lakers,” a team that went 65-17 in the regular season and won the NBA Championship while only losing three games in the playoffs that year. In the 1981-82 season with the Portland Trailblazers, Mychal averaged a career-high 20.8 points and 11.7 rebounds a game. He also averaged four assists and 0.9 steals that season as well.

After being drafted in 2011, Klay has been one of the essential pieces to the current dominant Golden State Warriors squad. Klay has three All-Star appearances and two championships in his first six seasons in the league. He’s averaged 19.1 points a game over his career as well. Klay was also a part of the 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning men’s basketball team.  Klay’s brother Trayce is currently an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and his other brother Mychel is currently playing in the NBA Gatorade League, formerly known as the “D-League.”

Dell Curry and Stephen Curry

Dell was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year for the 1993-94 season. Dell shot 40 percent from three-point range during his 16-year career, which includes a career-high 48 percent three-point percentage shooting season in 1989-99. Dell played 10 seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, where he raised three NCAA student-athletes and two NBA players highlighted by one of the best players in the league now, Stephen.

Stephen is a four-time All-NBA selection and a two-time league MVP. In 2016, Stephen became the league’s first unanimous MVP while averaging 30.1 points, 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals a game for the 73-win Warriors, the most regular season wins by a team in NBA history. Last season, Stephen’s brother Seth finished his first year with the Dallas Mavericks shooting 43 percent from three-point range and averaging a career-high 12.8 points per game. Stephen’s sister, Sydel, finished her three-year volleyball career at Elon University eighth all-time in career assists.

3) Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.

Ken Sr. finished his 19-year career as a three-time All-Star, a two World Series champion, and an All-Star Game MVP. Ken Sr. batted .296 and hit 152 home runs to go along with 859 RBIs in his career. In 1990, Ken Sr. got to do what he said was the best moment of his career, which was playing with his son in the majors. For a month, Ken Sr. and Ken Jr. were teammates on the Seattle Mariners, the duo even hit back-to-back home runs.

In his 22-year career, Ken Jr. hit 630 home runs and 1836 RBIs to go with his .284 batting average. Ken Jr. was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016 and he ranks sixth in career home runs.

Archie and Eli, Peyton Manning

In 13 seasons in the NFL, Archie threw for 23,911 yards with the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers. Archie had three sons that committed to playing Division I football, one never played a game due to injury but the other two have won four Super Bowls since 2006.

Eli has thrown for 48,218 yards in his first 13 seasons in the NFL. Peyton threw for 71,940 yards, which is the most in NFL history. Eli is a four-time Pro Bowler. Peyton has gone to the Pro Bowl 14 times and has been an All-Pro quarterback seven times.

Muhammad and Laila Ali

Muhammad is one of the most revered athletes of all time. The heavyweight posted a 56-5 career record with 37 knockouts. It’s no wonder he was considered the G.O.A.T., i.e., the greatest of all time.

Laila is considered one of the best female boxers ever, retiring with a 24-0 record in 2007, with 21 knockouts.