Two men that are still going strong at there respective sports have been named one of the four best ASU athletes of all time. That’s pretty crazy — but then again, so are the accomplishments of Phil Mickelson and James Harden.
On their way to the Final Four, both men cruised through the first two rounds. In the Elite Eight, Mickelson defeated ASU football legend Jake Plummer with 80 percent of the vote and Harden handily got by Terrell Suggs with 74 percent.
Mickelson (from Sweet Sixteen): While Mickelson has had several, by far the most defining moment is the one that introduced him to the world. For Phil, he gained national recognition before he went professional. It isn’t common for a golfer to be named National Collegiate Golfer of the year three times in a row. Only Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw have won it three times. Additionally, Mickelson didn’t win his first major until 13 years into his professional career. Now he is a World Golf Hall of Famer.
Harden (from Sweet Sixteen): This one’s easy. After leading the Houston Rockets to the best regular season record in the NBA and going out tough in the Western Conference Finals, Harden took home the NBA’s Most Valuable Player trophy this year. Although it’s contested that he wasn’t the most valuable player in the league, his numbers certainly show otherwise. This year, Harden put up 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.
|Three-time Haskins Award winner|
|Three-time NCAA champion|
|2012 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee|
|9th-most PGA Tour victories (43)|
|Three time Master's winner - 2004, 2006, 2010|
|PGA Championship winner - 2005|
|The Open Championship winner - 2013|
The Beard’s Resume
|2008-09 Consensus All-American|
|Wooden Award Finalist (2008-09)|
|2008-09 Pac-10 Conferenece Player of the Year|
|Scored 704 points in 2008-09 (1st in Pac-10 Conference)|
|No. 13 Jersey is retired|
|Drafted 3rd-overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Six-time NBA All-Star|
|4-time All NBA (3rd-Team 2012-13, 1st-team 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17)|
|2016-17 NBA Assists Leader|
|2017-18 NBA Scoring Champion|
|NBA MVP (2018)|