The 12 Must-Follow Athletes On Instagram

The 12 Must-Follow Athletes On Instagram

Many of the world’s best athletes are active on Instagram. It’s a great way for athletes to connect with their fans off the field. And for these 12, game-day skills translate into social dominance. These are the top 12 athletes that you NEED to follow on Instagram.

Stephen Curry @stephencurry30 | 7.5m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA0j23_TfW8

With by far the largest following on this list, there’s no reason not to follow the reigning NBA MVP and defending champ. Between going behind the scenes of Steph’s life and watching the dubsmashes with his wife, there are very few on his level.

Russell Westbrook @russwest44 | 3.4m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAU7Xk_iiPc

As one of the best-dressed athletes on the planet, Russ needs to be on this list. Whether he’s showing off his latest look, sharing his charity work, or gushing about his wife, this man is one of best athlete Instagrammers out there.

Serena Williams @serenawilliams | 2.7m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BATxNAhMTCe

A force on the court, a fashion icon off it. If you want a look into the life of one of the most dominant athletes who’s ever lived, this is it.

James Harden @jharden13 | 2.6m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/9HNehrNlTl

James’ account is loaded with celebrity and athlete encounters. He truly lives the life of a superstar baller. Who doesn’t want to stay up to date with that?

Nick Young @swaggyp1 | 2m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAtdBXPOGPS

He’s a fashion icon and a family man who regularly posts about his son and his girl Iggy Azalea. Swaggy P is all about standing out and showing your true personality. We believe in self-expression, so naturally, we believe in Swaggy P.

JJ Watt @justinjames99 | 1.7m followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/_9NsHpyG1D

JJ loves his fans, and he lets them know it. This is who you should be following if want to be inspired to be the best you can be, on and off the field.

Sydney Leroux @sydneyleroux | 926k followers

On the field, she’s a relentless forward that terrorizes defenders. Off it, she’s a fan favorite because of her inside looks at the USWNT, her dog Boss (who has his own Instagram account), her soccer star husband Dom Dwyer, and some of the funniest captions in the business.

https://www.instagram.com/p/9HrGzomWHK

Skylar Diggins @skydigg4 | 921k followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA5rGuLwYuA

Her feed has the perfect combo of grit, glam, and fam. From training vids and foodie pics to stylish selfies and updates on her basketball camp, Skylar is a must-have on your follow list.

Allyson Felix @af85 | 276k followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA-iSpumgdR

She’s a true champion and her feed shows you why. Allyson’s training vids show the incredible work ethic it takes to be one of the best. Plus, you get a peek at her life off the track, including all the amazing places she travels to.

Elena Delle Donne @de11edonne | 184k followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAnJfdNmNTO

As the 2015 WNBA MVP, Elena knows how to balance fun with work. Her feed is a perfect representation of the balance it takes to be the league’s best.

Jordan Burroughs @alliseeisgold | 180k followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAYPQJVFw3T

Jordan is unstoppable on the mat and unbeatable on Instagram. If you follow him, you’ll see everything from training videos and inspirational messages to pics with his son Beacon (who also has his own account) and posts about baby number two that’s on the way. Like it says in his bio, “You are now watching history in the making.”

Melvin Gordon III @iammelvingordoniii | 131k followers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BAxy7JAovwD

Following MG3 gives you a unique look into the life of a rising star in the NFL. As a first-round running back, Melvin has a lot of pressure to be great, but he keeps his feed lighthearted and doesn’t let the pressure get to him. He’s got the style and swagger of a top athlete Instagrammer.

The other must-follow account? Eastbay’s, of course. Follow @officialeastbay for the latest releases and a behind-the-scenes look at how to gain an edge in sports and life.

2015 In Review: The Best Of Eastbay Athletes

2015 In Review: The Best Of Eastbay Athletes

2015 has become the past. While there are many incredible sports moments yet to come in 2016, this is a time to look back at all the major feats our Eastbay athletes accomplished this past year — they did pretty well.

Eastbay Soccer Covers

2015 World Cup Champions

Leading up to the tournament, we featured not one, but seven, USWNT players on either the catalog or eastbay.com. That included the likes of Sydney Leroux, Kelley O’Hara, Heather O’Reilly, Becky Sauerbrunn, Morgan Brian, Lauren Holiday, and Alex Morgan. Those players dedicated their lives to that one goal, and they brought home the trophy for the first time since 1999.

Eastbay Basketball Covers

NBA Finals + NBA MVP + 24-0 Start

He’s the best, and those accomplishments above prove it. In 2015, Stephen Curry didn’t just win the league’s MVP award and bring Golden State its first championship in 40 years, but he went on to lead the Warriors to an NBA-record 24-0 start to the 2015-16 season. 2015 was Curry’s year.

No. 7 Overall NBA Draft Pick

Emmanuel Mudiay didn’t take the traditional path to the NBA. He skipped the whole college thing so he could play basketball professionally in China to prepare himself for the NBA.  Well, it worked, because the explosive and versatile Mudiay was drafted No. 7 overall by the Denver Nuggets.

WNBA MVP

Elena Delle Donne’s 2015 season was one of the best in WNBA history. She averaged 23.4 points per game, which is fifth best in league history, and she set a league record by converting on 95 percent of her free throws. Delle Donne was the definition of efficiency, game in and game out — that’s the Eastbay way.

Eastbay Football Cover

Best Start In Team History (14-0)

The Carolina Panthers were doubted. Critics and fans thought of the Panthers as, at best, an above-average football team, but no one gave them the credit of an elite team. Fortunately, Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly feed off that doubt. It drives them to be their best. Those two led Carolina to its first-ever 14-0 start, and with the playoffs starting, it could become ever better. Plus, Newton is a frontrunner for the league’s MVP award.

Top 15 On NFL’s Top 100 Players Of 2015 List

Two of our Eastbay athletes made that list: DeMarco Murray (No. 4) and Luke Kuechly (No. 14). You just read about Kuechly’s outstanding 2015, but Murray’s season didn’t quite live up to the high expectations. After one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen in 2014-15, Murray stumbled a bit this year, but there’s no denying his talent.

Eastbay Baseball Covers

Cubs Rookie Home Run Record + Wild Card Berth

Few players in the MLB have the power of Kris Bryant. After finally being called up by the Chicago Cubs, Bryant took off running at the plate, becoming one of the league’s most feared power hitters. His 26 homers put him atop the list of Cubs rookies, ahead of Hall of Famer Billy Williams. That power helped Chicago reach the postseason for the first time since 2008. The future looks bright for Bryant, that’s for sure.

Superstar In The Making

The shortstop position in Boston hasn’t been this solidified since Nomar Garciaparra was traded in 2004. With Xander Bogaerts on the diamond, Boston’s infield no longer has any problems. Once ranked the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, Bogaerts has sky-high expectations, and he lived up to the hype in 2015. Not only was he a defensive juggernaut, but he excelled at the plate, hitting .320 with seven homers and 81 RBIs. The potential here is endless — just wait until next season.

Like we said, 2015 is gone now, but these accomplishments will live on forever. Congrats to all our dedicated Eastbay athletes who know winning takes discipline, training, and desire. Keep up the hard work — 2016 is going to be one to remember.

MLB National League MVP

In just his fourth season in the big leagues, at 22 years and 353 days old, Bryce Harper bagged his first MVP award, making him the third youngest player to ever do so. And it was certainly deserved. Harper finished the season with a .330 average, hitting 42 home runs and 99 RBIs. The stats speak for themselves.

Elena Delle Donne On Her Life As A Basketball Phenom

Elena Delle Donne On Her Life As A Basketball Phenom

Elena Delle Donne Interview

Elene Delle Donne plays for the Chicago Sky and is the reigning MVP of the WNBA. After a terrific high school career, she became one of the most sought after prospects in women’s college basketball history. However, Elena opted to stay in-state and play for Delaware (a school not known for basketball) due to the closeness of her family. Her commitment to family, sport, and country, have landed her on the cover of Eastbay. We sat down for an exclusive interview.

 

EASTBAY: When did you realize you were going to be an athlete?
ELENA: I would say just in the backyard playing — whether it would be football, soccer, or basketball with my brother and his friends. The first time I got one of his friends on a move or a shift, that’s when I was like, “Hey, this is pretty fun and I might be pretty good at this when I’m beating up on boys that are older than me.”

EASTBAY: How do you think those sports contributed to you becoming the athlete that you are today?
ELENA: I think those sports just made me a more versatile athlete. It just helped me grow in so many ways. My dad teaches me how to shoot and he’ll compare my shot to golf. So, really, any sport can carry over.

EASTBAY: You mentioned your dad taught you to play basketball. Was that how you were first introduced to the game?
ELENA: I was first introduced to basketball just because my brother was older than me. He was playing, and then my dad played college basketball, so he always had a love for the game. The second he saw I had interest in the sport he said, “Oh, let’s get outside. I’ll teach you how to shoot, I’ll teach you how to dribble.”

EASTBAY: Do you remember any specific things he was teaching you as you were growing up?
ELENA: My dad never let me shoot on a 10-foot rim until I was ready because he said, “I don’t want you shooting with bad form and you’re too small to get it to the rim at this point.” So, I was that kid always shooting on the 8-foot rim or even the 7-foot rim, and I was like, “Dad, can I please get on the 10-foot rim,” but I owe him the world for it because he taught me really good mechanics and form from day one.

EASTBAY: Were there specific steps he was teaching you?
ELENA: He was always was teaching me to get my arm to a 90-degree angle, and from there, all he wanted me to do was lift and flick my wrist. So, lift the arm, flick the wrist, and he was like, “It’s a science. You can perfect this.”

EASTBAY: Do you remember falling in love with the sport? Knowing that this was what you wanted to do?
ELENA: It’s like I fell in love with basketball right from day one and I immediately was begging my parents like, “Hey, can I just play basketball? I just want to only focus on this sport.” Basketball was by far my favorite and it was always my passion and it was the always the sport I decided to go outside and work on after school.

EASTBAY: Was there a specific moment that you can remember where you knew you could be really great at it?
ELENA: When I was 10 years old, I went to Nationals, and that was the first time I was able to see what other girls my age were like all across the country, and I stacked up pretty well. That was exciting for me to know.

EASTBAY: In terms of the special moments and special games, can you talk about some of those?
ELENA: The most special game in college was beating North Carolina on our home floor in Delaware to get to the Sweet 16 and finally proving the naysayers wrong, and proving that taking my own path and doing it my own way worked. It was such a special moment, and I think the whole state of Delaware erupted with that win.

EASTBAY: If you look at yourself prior to that game and after, what would you say was the biggest challenge?
ELENA: I think it’s just being able to kind of continue to prove other people, and even sometimes yourself wrong. When you feel like you’re completely against the ropes and you’re the underdog and you shouldn’t win and all the odds are against you, and you can somehow find a way to win. That game showed me it’s possible.

EASTBAY: Can you talk a little bit about what the hardest moment has been in your career and what did you do to overcome it?
ELENA: The hardest moment of my career so far was just having another relapse with Lyme disease. Unfortunately, the disease is pretty far behind on research and doctors aren’t really sure how to even treat it at this point. So it’s just a really scary point in time where the game was taken away from me and my health was taken away from me and I had no idea if I was going to get better and healthy again. Every time I touch the court it’s a blessing and really just take every single moment and play like it’s like my last moment.

EASTBAY: What do you want your legacy in sports to be?
ELENA: I would want my legacy to be that I was somebody who used the spotlight for something far more than myself and I made an impact on young girls, young boys, and inspired them to follow their dreams and their passion — whatever that may be. Also, I want people to remember me for excellence; remember that I was a phenomenal player, and never satisfied, and always trying to improve her game.

EASTBAY: If you had one piece of advice that you would have given yourself when you were a young athlete, what would it be?
ELENA: I would tell my young self to continue to follow your heart. My heart has always seemed to lead me in the right direction, and I think the heart and the gut are tied to each other — you just have to follow that and know what’s right at the time.