My Favorite Athletes Matthew wilkus

Eric Berry is a 5x Pro-Bowl and a 3x First Team All-Pro Strong Safety for the Kansas City Chiefs. During the 2014 season Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He went through chemotherapy and was cleared to play again during the 2015 season, less than a year after his diagnoses. He made the Pro Bowl and was named First Team All-Pro that year. He was also given the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year award for his impressive performance less than a year after beating cancer.

David Plummer was a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team. He qualified in the 100 Meter Backstroke after missing the Olympic Team by one spot in 2012 and 2008. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Plummer earned a bronze medal in the 100 Meter Backstroke and a gold medal as a member of the 400 Meter Medley Relay. Plummer retired following the Olympics.

Joel Embiid plays in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76er's. He was selected with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Kansas. However, due to back and foot injuries, Embiid was not able to play until the 2016-2017 Season. Despite his past injury problems, Embiid is averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks (3rd in the NBA) per game this season. Embiid is currently 6th in All-Star Voting for the Eastern Conference.

Salvador Perez is the starting catcher for the Kansas City Royals. He made his Major League debut during the 2011 Season. He is a 4x All-Star (2013-2016), 4x Gold Glove Winner (2013-2016), and won the Silver Slugger Award in 2016. Perez was a key piece of Royals World Series Team in both 2014 and 2015. He won the World Series MVP Award in 2015.

Russell Westbrook is the starting Point Guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was selected 4th Overall by the Seattle Supersonics in the 2008 NBA Draft. His list of accomplishments so far during his career includes:

- 5x NBA All-Star (2011-2013, 2015, 2016)

- 2x NBA All-Star Game MVP (2015,2016)

- All-NBA First Team (2016)

- 4x All-NBA Second Team (2011-2013, 2015)

- NBA Scoring Champion (2015)

Westbrook is currently leading the league averaging 30.6 PPG

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian ever. Phelps first made the Olympic Swim Team in 2000 at the age of 15. He also qualified for the 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. Over his illustrious career Phelps has collected 23 Olympic Gold Medals and 28 Olympic Medals Overall. Phelps currently holds 6 World Records in swimming but has broken many more over his career. After the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Phelps announced his retirement.

I chose these athletes because most of them have endured some sort of hardship at some point during their career. Despite these hardships, theses players have continued to excel in their sports and have shown that you should never give up on your dreams no matter what you face.

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Matthew Wilkus

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