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2015’s Best Of The Best And Their Paths To Greatness

If you hadn’t noticed, Under Armour athletes dominated the sports world in 2015. In the three major American leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB), UA represented the MVPs in ALL of them: Cam Newton, Stephen Curry, and Bryce Harper. Not only is that a testament to the quality of Under Armour gear, but it shows the incredible amount of work these three put in. It’s no coincidence that before they became MVPs, they became Eastbay athletes.

Cam Newton, QB – Carolina Panthers

After winning the Heisman and the National Championship, Newton was drafted first overall in 2011, and he went on to win the 2011 Rookie of the Year award. It was after that season that Newton first appeared on an Eastbay catalog cover — June 2012. But he became an Eastbay athlete long before that. “I used to really admire collecting the magazines,” he said. “I can just remember having piles and piles of magazines.”

Having access to our huge selection of gear helped Newton, but becoming the MVP wouldn’t have been possible without his determination and desire to be elite. “What motivates me to win is being the best — unanimously,” he said. “That’s what drives me. That’s my fuel.”

Well, it worked. Through his time in the gym, improving his fundamentals on the practice field, and continuing to be the ultimate leader, Newton achieved his goal of becoming the best. In 2015, there was no one better than him, and he just won the MVP award to back it up. But he has a new goal now: a ring. And tomorrow he might get it.

Stephen Curry, PG – Golden State Warriors

Curry has been doubted all his life. Too small, too weak, too slow. But there’s one thing all the doubters didn’t know: Curry can do all things. In December 2014, as part Curry’s first Eastbay cover, he told us this: “Obviously, you hear people doubt you — people say you don’t have what it takes. There are people that think I might not be MVP caliber, and that’s something I want to accomplish. There’s always something next I want to go after. That’s one of them, and obviously winning a championship. I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”

MVP? Check. Championship? Check. Looks like doubting Curry is a bad move. But how was he able to improve his game so drastically? “I put everything I have into the game,” he said. “I play every night, every practice like it’s my last.” Like a true Eastbay athlete, Curry works harder than everyone else, and the scariest part is that he’s getting ever better.

Now, he’s not just looking to repeat. He has Golden State on track to achieving the best regular season record of all time. If it happens, he’ll give a lot of the credit to one of his main sources of inspiration — the fans. “There’s no denying we have the best home-court advantage in the league,” Curry said. “Our fans fuel us and we want to give them something to cheer about.”

Bryce Harper, OF – Washington Nationals

Harper was drafted in 2010, joined Under Armour in 2011, appeared on an Eastbay cover months before the 2012 season, and won the NL Rookie of the Year Award after the 2012 season. That timeline is no coincidence. Like Newton and Curry, Harper became an Eastbay athlete when he was young, developing a drive only the best of the best obtain. Once suited up in the gear that brought out the best in his game, Harper took the league by storm.

Since 2012, he’s been putting in countless hours of work to take his game to an unbelievable level. And it paid off, as he hit .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs last season en route to his first NL MVP Award. But at only 23 years old, he hasn’t reached his full potential. “The sky’s the limit, and I’m just going to keep going till I get to the top.” If that doesn’t scare pitchers, nothing will.

When you become an Eastbay athlete, anything is possible — even becoming the best in the world. You just have to put in the work with the right gear. So head to eastbay.com, get the best to be your best, and Prepare For Greatness.