The Matchup: Not only the greatest lefty golfer but one of the greatest golfers in history in Phil Mickelson takes on one of the better guards in women’s basketball history in Briann January. What makes this matchup unique is not only did the two garner national attention in college but also in their professional careers; both of which are still going.
No. 1 Phil Mickelson
Basic info: Born June 16, 1970 in San Diego, California. High school: University of San Diego (California). ASU career: 1989-1992. Professional: 1992-present.
Notables: At ASU, Mickelson was the winner of three consecutive NCAA individual championships as well as the nationally awarded Haskins Award for the best collegiate golfer. He additionally led the Sun Devils to a team championship in 1990. In his professional career, ‘Lefty’ has racked up five major wins, including three Master’s victories in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
What you don’t know: The one major ‘Lefty’ has never won is The U.S. Open championship. He has tied for second place a record six times in his professional career. His trademark left-handed swing would lead people to believe he is left-handed, but rather he is a true righty. When learning to play, he mirrored his father Phil Sr.’s right-handed swing and it resulted in his left-handed swing.
No. 8 Briann January
Basic info: Born January 11, 1987 in Spokane, Washington. High school: Lewis and Clark (Spokane, WA). ASU career: 2005-2009. WNBA career: 2009-2017 (Indiana Fever), 2018-present (Phoenix Mercury). International career: 2009–2010 (Tarsus Belediyesi), 2010–2011 (Raanana Hertzeliya), 2012–2013 (Elektra Ramat Hasharon), 2013–2014 (Maranhao Basquete), 2014–2017 (Adana ASKİ SK).
Notables: In four years at ASU, January led her team in assists and steals in all four of those years. She was a first team all-freshman in 2006 with 86 assists and 46 steals. In her senior season, she set the single season record at ASU for three-point field goals with 65. She was drafted sixth overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the Indiana Fever. In 2014 she received her first invite to the WNBA All Star game with the Fever.
What you don’t know: Her father, Barry, was a karate instructor and January holds a black belt in karate. January served as a team captain in track and field as a high school senior. She won the state high jump title in 2004, with her personal best in the high jump being 5–8. When she was an ASU senior, she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated with fellow Sun Devil James Harden.