The 10 Best Athletes to Ever Come Out of Jeff City


September 08, 2022

Best Athletes from Jefferson City Misouri

We’re ready to have some takes that are spicier than our Carolina Reaper Wings, Jeff City! Let’s get the debate started on the best athletes to ever from the Capitol. It’s gonna be tough to choose. There are so many greats that have graced the fields and gyms of Jefferson City. Many of them went on to have successful pro careers in their sports and some became all-time legends. At Big Whiskey’s we love a good legend.

Here are our picks for the ten best athletes to ever come out of Jefferson City! Did we miss someone on yours? Sound off in the comments!

Maya Moore


Career Highlights

  • 4 WNBA Championships
  • WNBA MVP 2014
  • 2 NCAA Titles

A product of Moreau Heights Elementary School, Moore went to high school in Georgia and earned The Naismith Player of the Year easily posting video game numbers. She kept it on easy mode in college too. At UConn she won every award imaginable and took home back to back national championships. In the pros, Moore four titles. In the Olympics she won two golds. She’s one of the best to ever do it.

John Daly


Career Highlights

  • 1991 PGA Champion
  • 1995 Open Champion
  • 2004 Comeback Player of the Year

The pants. The mullet. The cigarettes. However you know John Daly, it’s probably not just because of his golf game. He was like a real life Happy Gilmore in the 90s, once even fighting another player’s father on the course. He played some of his earliest games right here in the Capitol at Helias but didn’t stay long, ending up in Dardenelle, Arkansas where now lives. Love him or hate him, he’s a PGA legend and a character the game will never forget.

Justin Smith


Career Highlights

  • 5-time Pro Bowler
  • 2-time First Team All Pro
  • 87 Career Sacks

Justin Smith is the GOAT of Jeff City Football. It’s pretty hard to argue with that statement. He delivered a State Championship as a central part of the 1997 Jays team and took home All-State honors. He stayed in Missouri for college at Mizzou where he excelled again with All America and All Conference nods. He got picked fourth overall in the 2001 NFL draft and made five trips to Hawaii. Smith was known for his work ethic and ambition. In college, he famously ran sprints with the defensive backs who were the fastest group on the team despite outweighing them by over a hundred pounds. He was a competitor through and through.

OG Anonuby


Career Highlights

  • NBA Champion 2019

Oguga Anonuby lives up to his nickname. He was an OG at Jeff City High for sure. He was a finalist for Missouri Mr. Basketball in his junior year with the Jays and put up crooked numbers in the AAU circuit. He caught the attention of Indiana University coach Tom Crean and eventually joined the Hoosiers. His college career took a hit with an injury to his knee but the NBA was unconcerned. He was and is a human highlight reel capable of old school D, a sweet stroke and some poster dunks. He got picked up by the Raptors in the first round and the chip on his shoulder drove him to carving out a starting job. When the Raps won it all in 2019, OG became the first British born player to get a ring. Thanks to his modern skill set, he might have a whole handful to bring back to the Capitol when he’s done.

Christian Cantwell

Track and Field

Career Highlights

  • Silver in Beijing Olympics
  • 3 Golds at the World Indoor Championships
  • Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

At 6’5, 300 lbs it’s hard to imagine someone overlooking Christian Cantwell, but that’s exactly what happened to the now famous shot putter from Eldon in high school. He was a late discovery for the track coaches at Mizzou and only got a book scholarship to throw rocks in Columbia. The rest is history. Cantwell became a star, winning the Big 12 Outdoor shot put championship in his first year. Needless to say, the rest of his school was paid for from then on. He also qualified for the 2000 Olympics and rose to a top five world ranking over the next decade. After a long career, he went from overlooked to looking over his collection of medals.

The next five

  1. Steve Rogers P Montreal Expos
  2. Tom Henke P Texas Rangets
  3. Joe Crede 3B Chicago White Sox
  4. Joe Jimenez PGA Golfer
  5. Justin Gage WR Tennessee Titans

Let us know who makes your list in the comments and if you’re looking for a great place to watch the Tigers, Cardinals or any other sporting event, stop by Big Whiskey’s and enjoy our new All American Summer menu!