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Gymnastics vs Basketball

In the next matchup of round two, gymnastics takes on basketball for the right to move on to semifinals.

Vote Total:59%

Which Sport Creates the Ultimate Athlete?

Vote Total:41%

Tale of the Tape Overview
Each week we will match two sports against each other in a tournament style bracket and you, the fan, can vote for which you think produces top athletes.  The winning sport will advance in our tournament bracket and at the end we will crown one sport the "Ultimate Sport".  Along with the matchups, we will feature one top athlete from each sport and they will engage in a head-to-head heated debate.   

Voting will start on Thursday's and end on Wednesday's.  There will be a new matchup every week with the final matchup starting on Nov. 20.  Good luck!    

The Debate
Broomfield (Broomfield, Colo.) gymnast Melanie Stelling and St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) shooting guard Kamar McKnight go head to head in defending their sport.

Why is the ultimate athlete in your sport?

  • Every second counts in gymnastics, whether it’s a toe-point or the way you move your arm. Every movement has a purpose. Agility and strength is a big part of gymnastics. It’s a really tedious sport.

  • Because there are a lot of possessions and matchups where you have to use your athleticism a lot. You have to be really well conditioned and strong because it’s a physical game.

For anyone who disagrees, what drill specific to your sport would you like to see them try?

  • We do a lot do tumbling passes and then run and keep repeating that. Then we do conditioning in between and it’s all timed. It’s very hard.

  • It’s a 3-on-2 drill where you have to make a quick decision before that third player gets in the play. You have to really use your head to make the right pass while the defense is at a disadvantage. It’s a tough drill.

What is the second-toughest sport behind yours?

  • Wrestling.

  • Soccer. That’s a tough sport.

What's the best measure of a true athlete (strength, speed, quickness, agility, etc.)?

  • I think it’s mental toughness and also agility.

  • I think it’s speed; with that you can beat anyone, especially in basketball. You can dominate with speed in most sports.

Who is the best athlete in your sport, past or present?

  • Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

  • LeBron James.

What is the best example of something you did personally that shows why your sport has the ultimate athlete?

  • Last year at states on beam I did my switch leap, back tuck, wolf jump and I stuck it perfectly. With that routine I got two 9.9’s at state.

  • Last year during a game I had a turnover late in the third quarter, and I ran down and got in front of the guy and took a charge. That’s tough because you have to have agility and speed and mental toughness to do that.

What attributes do you need to play your sport that their players don’t?

  • You need to be able to know where you are in the air at all times. Plus, you need balance more than you do in basketball.

  • Speed. You need a little speed in gymnastics, but not even close to the speed you need in basketball.

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