14 Athletes Whose Fame Inspired Baby Names

#14 CONOR McGregor

1,000
Babies named for Conor McGregor

McGregor is a mixed martial artist that has earned the titles of UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Featherweight Champion. In 2015, he recorded the fastest UFC knockout in history. He has established himself as the largest pay per view draw in mixed martial arts history. His largest fights were during 2015 and 2016 and garnered over 1 million pay per view buys each. In 2017, he convinced Floyd Mayweather to compete in a highly publicized boxing match in which he lost.

Conor Conor McGregor

Babies Named Conor by Year

#13 LIONEL Messi

1,000
Babies named for Lionel Messi

Messi place forward for Barcelona and the Argentinia national team and is often considered one of the best football/soccer players of all time. He was awarded the Ballon d'Or annual association football award for being the best player in the world for the 4 consecutive years of 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Lionel Lionel Messi

Babies Named Lionel by Year

#12 DEION Sanders

5,000
Babies named for Deion Sanders

Sanders played in the National Football League (NFL) mainly as a cornerback for teams that include the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens. He helped the 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX in 1994 and the Cowboys win Super Bowl XXIX in 1996. He was later inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Deion Deion Sanders

Babies Named Deion by Year

#11 SHAQUILLE O'Neal

5,000
Babies named for Shaquille O'Neal

More commonly known as Shaq, O'Neil played was one of the heaviest players to ever play in the National Basketball Association where he played for 6 teams. In 1992, he was the first pick in the NBA draft, and was selected as rookie of the year for the 1992-1993 season. Besides the dozens of basketball awards, Shaq also established himself as a media personality.

Shaquille Shaquille O'Neal

Babies Named Shaquille by Year

#10 SERENA Williams

8,000
Babies named for Serena Williams

The Women's Tennis Association ranked Williams the top tennis player in the world 8 times from 2002 to 2017. In 1998, she defeated the 6th seeded player in the first round of the Australian Open before losing to her sister Venus in the second round. That same year, at just 16, she and her sister Venus Williams wagered that they could defeat any man outside the top 200 and later lost to the 203rd ranked male tennis player.

Serena Serena Williams

Babies Named Serena by Year

#9 NADIA Comaneci

9,000
Babies named for Nadia Comăneci

Comaneci has been credited as the world's best known gymnast. In 1976, she was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10.0 in the Olympics and received a total of 7 perfect scores. She received 3 gold medals that year. In 1980, she won 2 more gold medals. She defected from Romania in 1989 just prior to the Romanian revolution.

Nadia Nadia Comăneci

Babies Named Nadia by Year

#8 GRANT Hill

8,000
Babies named for Grant Hill

Hill played for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 1994 while in college, he earned the title of AAC Player of the Year. In 1995 during his first year in the NBA, he earned the award of Rookie of the Year. He regularly played in NBA All-Star games and made history by being the first rookie to lead fan votes for All-Star by barely beating Shaq (also on this list). The next year, he also one All-Star fan votes beating Michael Jordan during Jordan's first All-Star game after returning from retirement. In total, he was featured as an NBA All-Star seven times.

Grant Grant Hill

Babies Named Grant by Year

#7 DANICA Patrick

8,000
Babies named for Danica Patrick

Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. In 2005, she won the title of rookie of the year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series. She became the only women to win an IndyCar Series race in 2008.

Danica Danica Patrick

Babies Named Danica by Year

#6 KOBE Bryant

15,000
Babies named for Kobe Bryant

Bryant played 20 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Los Angeles Lakers and is regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time. He won the 1997 Slam Dunk contest fan favorite as a rookie. He also helped the Lakers win NBA Championships 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2010.

Kobe Kobe Bryant

Babies Named Kobe by Year

#5 IKER Casillas

10,000
Babies named for Iker Casillas

Casilla is a football/soccer player that plays as the goalkeeper for the Portuguese club Porto and the Spain national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and earned the nickname "Saint Iker" for his spectacular saves. He participated in World Cup games in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. He is the only player to earn 4 consecutive Best Goalkeeper awards.

Iker Iker Casillas

Babies Named Iker by Year

#4 LAILA Ali

31,000
Babies named for Laila Ali

Ali was an undefeated boxer and daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. She won various Supper Middleweight titles in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2007. She also made a number of television appearances after her boxing career including Dancing with the Stars and American Gladiators.

Laila Laila Ali

Babies Named Laila by Year

#3 JALEN Rose

37,000
Babies named for Jalen Rose

In college, Rose was a member of the Fab Five that reached the 1992 and 1993 basketball championships. He was drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1994 and played for six teams during his career. He helped the Indiana Pacers reach the NBA Finals in 2000.

Jalen Jalen Rose

Babies Named Jalen by Year

#2 PEYTON Manning

44,000
Babies named for Peyton Manning

Manning was the National Football League (NFL) quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Bronocs. He is considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He was the first pick in the NFL Draft of 1998, the MVP of the Super Bowl in 2007, and made three other Super Bowl appearances in 2010, 2014, and 2016.

Peyton Peyton Manning

Babies Named Peyton by Year

#1 MIA Hamm

58,000
Babies named for Mia Hamm

Hamm is a soccer/football icon that played forward for the US Women's National Team from 1987 to 2004. She was the face of the first professional women's soccer league in the US (2001-2003) and the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame. The 1996 Olympics were the first to feature women's soccer. The US defeated China in the finals in front of the largest crowd for soccer in the history of the Olympics. The 1999 World Cup final vs China was decided by a penalty shootout in which Hamm scored. The game set a record for the largest US TV audience for a soccer match with nearly 18 million viewers. During the 2000 Olympics, she set the record for most international goals scored by a woman or man. Her final World Cup appearance (2003) was also the final for several teammates collectively known as the Fab Five. During the 2004 Olympics, she reclaimed her title of most international goals which she held until 2013 when her teammate Abby Wambach overtook her.

Mia Mia Hamm

Babies Named Mia by Year
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The data is taken from births that occurred in the United States after 1879. From 1880 to 1936, all births may not be included in the original data set.