7 Soccer Stars Who Also Played Other Sports Growing Up (2024)

  • May 19, 2021
  • ByShannon Hobbs

Playing other sports is a great way for young players to become well-rounded athletes while still developing the skills to make them top soccer players. Stars like Abby Wambach, Morgan Gautrat, and Lauren Holiday weren’t always 100% committed to soccer. They also played other sports growing up and were still able to reach the top of the women’s game. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see which soccer stars played other sports growing up.

Nicole Barnhart – Basketball

What’s a girl to do when she wants to play soccer, but there’s no girl’s team? Play with the boys, of course! And that’s just what Nicole Barnhart did. She didn’t just stand out on the soccer field either; she also played basketball and was All-American in lacrosse.Â

Shannon Boxx – Basketball, Softball, and Volleyball

Shannon didn’t just play one other sport. She played three! In addition to playing soccer, she played volleyball, softball, and basketball in high school.

Morgan Brian – Basketball

In high school, Morgan Brian was busy. She played soccer and helped her team win four consecutive state titles, but she also played basketball. Varsity basketball, to be exact. By the time she graduated, she was also All-Region and All-State in basketball.

Lauren Holiday – Basketball, Baseball, and Track

Lauren Holiday just really loves sports. While playing soccer, she also played basketball, baseball, and ran track in high school. According to USA Today,Âshe also would have played football if allowed.

Whitney Engen – Gymnastics

Anyone who’s seen Whitney Engen play soccer might be surprised to find out that she didn’t want to be a soccer player when she grew up; she wanted to be a gymnast!ÂLuckily for us, she quickly became too tall for gymnastics, and the rest was history.

Amy LePeilbet – Basketball

Amy LePeilbet was a leader on the soccer field and the basketball court. In herÂjunior and senior years of high school, she was the captain of both the soccer team and the basketball team. She also lettered three years in basketball and four years in soccer.

Abby Wambach – Basketball

Abby Wambach lettered in both soccer and basketball. Her high school soccer coach even said that she was so good at basketball, that she could have continued to play both sports in college.

If you’ve got your eye on another sport, go for it. These ladies have proven that playing another sport won’t hurt your soccer game. In fact, it could improve it.

Featured Image via Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images



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I'm an enthusiast deeply immersed in the world of sports and physical activities, particularly the development of athletes, and I've closely followed the career trajectories of various soccer stars. The evidence lies in my comprehensive understanding of the multi-sport backgrounds of prominent players like Abby Wambach, Morgan Gautrat, and Lauren Holiday.

These players, who eventually reached the pinnacle of women's soccer, weren't solely dedicated to soccer during their formative years. They engaged in a diverse array of sports, showcasing their well-rounded athleticism. Let's delve into the concepts presented in the provided article:

  1. Multi-Sport Athletes: The article emphasizes the benefits of playing multiple sports during childhood for soccer players. It highlights that stars like Abby Wambach, Morgan Brian, and others participated in sports such as basketball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, and gymnastics alongside soccer. This underscores the idea that diversifying athletic experiences can contribute to overall skill development.

  2. Challenges Faced by Female Athletes: The narratives of players like Nicole Barnhart, who played with boys when there was no girls' soccer team, illustrate the challenges faced by female athletes in pursuing their passion for soccer. The article sheds light on how these challenges were overcome, emphasizing the resilience and determination of these athletes.

  3. Athletic Versatility: The profiles of players like Lauren Holiday, who participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, and track, showcase the versatility of athletes. It challenges the notion that specialization in one sport from an early age is the only path to success.

  4. Impact of Physical Attributes on Sport Choices: The mention of Whitney Engen's transition from aspiring gymnast to soccer player due to her height highlights the impact of physical attributes on sport choices. This aspect adds depth to the discussion, demonstrating that sometimes external factors influence an athlete's trajectory.

  5. Leadership and Teamwork Skills: The article touches upon players like Amy LePeilbet, who served as the captain of both soccer and basketball teams in high school. This showcases the development of leadership skills and the ability to work in a team across different sports.

In conclusion, the article advocates for a holistic approach to athlete development, encouraging young players to explore various sports to enhance their overall skills and athleticism. The showcased players serve as living examples of the positive impact that a diverse sporting background can have on a soccer career.

7 Soccer Stars Who Also Played Other Sports Growing Up (2024)
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