Millennials inspired by professional athletes

By Jatara Allen
April 23, 2015

Professional athletes’ jobs are paid according to their performance on the field, court or turf. A common question presented to youth is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” However, was it known that the same children who were asked this would grow to be inspirational leaders in the eyes of millennials?

MCT Kobe Bryant was influential to millenials
Kobe Bryant was influential to millennials

“More than 60 percent of Division I college men’s ice hockey players think it is likely they will play professionally but less than 1 percent ever go on to the National Hockey League,” according to Inside Higher Education.

“The NBA has the youngest audience, with 45 percent of its viewers under 35,“ according to Those viewers are the millennial generation.

Junior Aaron Henry is a shooting guard for the Cabrini men’s basketball team and he is apart of that 45 percent. Henry found his passion for the game through NBA players that mattered most to him. Henry’s father took him to a basketball game when he was seven-years-old and ever since then he wanted to play basketball.

“Kobe and Shaq in 1999 were dominant on the court and shut everyone down,” Henry said. “I think that is what really caught my eye. Ever since that moment I knew Kobe Bryant was a great player and he changed my whole view on the game.”

Still to this day, Kobe Bryant is Henry’s favorite player.

“The emphasis on millennials bares more significance for a country such as the Philippines, which has one of the youngest populations in the world,” according to

Born between 1980 to 2000, millennials are expected to propel consumer consumption because of the influence that they are starting to “wield in the households.”

Sophomore Deryl Bagwell plays for the Cabrini men’s basketball team. He finds himself as a contributor to the team’s efforts because when he’s healthy, he is the team’s sixth man. In Bagwell’s younger years, he was too small to play football. His older brothers took advantage of their size and took football serious, while he waited to find his craft. His brother’s then took him to a neighbor’s basketball court and he knew where his heart was.

“It just came natural,” Bagwell said. One person that has inspired Bagwell’s career was Ben Wallace when he was a member of the Detroit Pistons. Bagwell loved his game and thought of him as a “save on defense.”

MCT Ben Wallace was influential to the millennials.
Ben Wallace was influential to the millennials.

“He was just relentless,” Bagwell said.

“NFL games accounted for 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows last fall,” according to “TV by the Numbers.”

“Football dominates the world of sports, and live sports dominates the world of television. It is no wonder, then, that the Super Bowl stands apart from the rest of television like a Petronas Tower airlifted into a suburb.”

According to all of these statistics, sports are a part of the millennial generation. It remains to be seen in what direction sports and millennials are headed next.

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Jatara Allen

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