Who are the most famous Cape Verdean football, baseball, and basketball players in the USA? Here’s our top 10 list.
1. Stephen Cooper
Stephen Cooper (born June 19, 1979) is a former American football linebacker for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Maine. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2003, and played his entire professional career for the Chargers.
2. Ryan Gomes
Ryan Anthony Gomes (born September 1, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player and former assistant coach for the Long Island Nets of the NBA G League. He was named a First Team All-American power forward at Providence College before being selected with the 50th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.
3. Tony Gonzalez
Anthony David Gonzalez (born February 27, 1976) is an American former professional football player who was a tight end in the National Football League (NFL). He played 17 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons. Regarded as one of the greatest tight ends of all-time, Gonzalez played college football and college basketball at University of California, Berkeley, and was recognized as a consensus All-American in football. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft, where he played for 12 seasons, and was a member of the Atlanta Falcons in his last five seasons. Since retiring, he has served as an analyst for Fox Sports.
4. Davey Lopes
David Earle Lopes (/ˈloʊps/; born May 3, 1945) is an American former second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He batted and threw right-handed. He played in MLB for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros; he managed the Milwaukee Brewers.
5. Charles Smith
Charles Daniel Smith (born July 16, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
6. Jeff Xavier
Jeffrey G. Xavier (born 7 September 1985) is a Cape Verdean-American basketball player who plays for UJAP Quimper 29 in LNB Pro B. He is a 2009 graduate of Providence College. Xavier transferred to Providence after two years at Manhattan College. Xavier is a member of the Cape Verde national basketball team. He is a graduate of St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket.
7. Marvelous Marvin Hagler
Marvelous Marvin Hagler (born Marvin Nathaniel Hagler; May 23, 1954 – March 13, 2021) was an American professional boxer and film actor who competed in boxing from 1973 to 1987. He reigned as undisputed champion of the middleweight division from 1980 to 1987, defeating 11 opponents, all but one by knockout, and making twelve successful defenses of that title. Hagler also holds the highest knockout percentage of all undisputed middleweight champions at 78 percent. His undisputed middleweight championship reign of six years and seven months is the second-longest of the last century, behind only Tony Zale, whose reign included several years of inactivity during his service in World War II. Nicknamed “Marvelous” and annoyed that network announcers often did not refer to him as such, Hagler legally changed his name to “Marvelous Marvin Hagler” in 1982.
8. Cynthia Barboza
Cynthia Jane Barboza (born February 7, 1987) is an American retired volleyball player. She is an outside hitter who played at Stanford University for four years.
9. Wayne Gomes
Wayne Maurice Gomes [goms] (born January 15, 1973) is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1997 through 2002 for the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox. Listed at 6′ 2″, 215 lb., Gomes batted and threw right handed.
10. Dana Barros
Dana Bruce Barros (born April 13, 1967) is an American former professional basketball player from the National Basketball Association (NBA). In college, he played at Boston College, finishing as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers. He was the head men’s basketball coach at Newbury College in Massachusetts. He is now the owner of AAU Basketball organization, the “Dana Barros Gladiators”, based in Avon, Massachusetts, and now Stoughton, Massachusetts. He is of Cape Verdean descent.
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