Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Nykesha Sales vs. Albie Booth

(AP Photo/Chris Gardner)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.

GENO AURIEMMA REGION

6. Nykesha Sales

Women’s basketball

Bloomfield

Sales became the all-time leading scorer in UConn women’s basketball history when she graduated in 1998, although breaking the record with a bit of controversy. Sales suffered a career-ending injury when she was just one point shy of the record, then scored her record-breaking 2,178th point on an uncontested layup in a game against Villanova. (The Wildcats were allowed to score on their end to make it 2-2).

Sales also led the Huskies to the 1995 NCAA title and went on to an excellent career in the WNBA, playing nine years with the Orlando Miracle and Connecticut Sun. She was an eight-time All-Star.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

11. Albie Booth

Yale football (1929-1931)

New Haven

Standing at 5 feet 6 inches, Booth starred at Yale in football, basketball, and baseball. He was the football team’s halfback and kicker from 1929-1931, and he was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Booth became famous in 1929, his sophomore year, when he came off the bench and helped bring his team back from a 13-0 deficit against national powerhouse Army. Booth rushed for 233 yards, scored three touchdowns (two rushing thouchdowns and a 65-yard punt return touchdown), and kicked three extra points, leading Yale past Army 21-13 in come-from-behind fashion.

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