Most Famous Athletes From Michigan in 2023

Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Who are the most popular athletes raised in Michigan?, your home for the best Michigan sports betting bonuses, did the research so you don’t have to.

We used a weighted system between Keywords Explorer and Google Trends to look at the most searched Michigan athletes over the past 12 months.

Once we found both sets of numbers, we averaged them to determine the Top 10. A “Michigan athlete” in this case was defined as a person who was born in Michigan or resided here in their formative childhood for over 10 years.

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Most Well-Known Athletes from Michigan in 2023

Rank, Celebrity, Claim to Fame Hometown Search Volume
1. Draymond Green, NBA forward Saginaw 582K
2. Devin Booker, NBA guard Grand Rapids 541K
3. Magic Johnson, Basketball Hall of Famer Lansing 326K
4. Kirk Cousins, NFL quarterback Holland 277K
5. Derek Jeter, Baseball Hall of Famer Kalamazoo 272K
6. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Professional boxer Grand Rapids 262K
7. Al Horford, NBA forward Lansing 246K
8. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, NFL cornerback Detroit 190K
9. Kyle Kuzma, NBA forward Flint 133K
10. Jalen Rose, Former NBA guard Detroit 87K

Who Is Most Searched For Athlete From Michigan?

Coming in at No. 1 is Golden State Warriors’ mercurial forward Draymond Green. He rebounds, he passes, he defends, he occasionally scores, he’s All-NBA at getting under opponents’ skins and he just declined a $27.5 million player option.

Green is from Saginaw and played his college ball for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, where he was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2012. His Warriors have anywhere from +1200 to +1300 odds to win the 2024 NBA championship at various Michigan sportsbook apps.

Which Other Michigan Athletes Score High?

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (No. 2) hails from Grand Rapids and played one year at Kentucky before continuing his career in the NBA. The three-time All-Star was the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Next year he’s going to team with Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal as the Suns petition the Association to play with more than one ball on offense.

At No. 3 now, but likely No. 1 from 1977 until at least 2007, is Lansing’s Earvin “Magic” Johnson. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re probably on the wrong site.

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, from Holland, is No. 4. Cousins was born in Illinois but played his high school ball at Holland Christian before attending Michigan State. He was drafted in 2012 by the then-Washington Redskins in the fourth round. He’s a four-time Pro-Bowl pick. Various Michigan sports betting sites have set odds ranging from +3500 to +5000 for Minnesota to win the Super Bowl in February 2024.

In sports, Kalamazoo is known for USTA boys’ tennis championships. The town also claims the No. 5 spot on our chart (but No. 2 in our hearts) with Derek Jeter, whose family moved from New Jersey to Kalamazoo when he was 4. The Hall of Fame shortstop for the New York Yankees, Jeter had a lifetime batting average of .310 (back when MLB players hit over .300 sometimes) and 3,465 hits. Jeter turned down a scholarship to Michigan to turn pro.

Grand Rapids puts boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the chart at No. 6. After losing a controversial decision in the Olympics (what else is new?), Mayweather turned pro and went 50-0 between 1996 and 2017. He won titles in five different weight classes and is considered the best defensive boxer in history, which allowed him to keep the nickname “Pretty Boy.”

Rounding out our Top 10, are Boston Celtic forward Al Horford from Lansing, New York Jet cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner from Detroit, Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma from Flint, and Detroit’s own Jalen Rose, who went from the inner city to Michigan’s Fab Five, to the NBA and on to ESPN.

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Howard Gensler

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the Michigan sports betting market for Before his focus on U.S. sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of

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