The Five Best Wyoming Sports Moments of 2016
It's been a great year for sports fans here in Wyoming. Here's our completely subjective and totally unofficial list of the five best sports moments of 2016.
1. Maverick Meets Big Papi - This is why we all love sports. When MLB Network star Kevin Millar heard about a boy from Cheyenne suffering from a congenital heart defect, he moved mountains for Maverick.
Millar called up the owner of Maverick's favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, who sent their private plane to Cheyenne and treated Maverick to a day he'll never forget.
Maverick's meeting with Red Sox slugger David "Big Papi" Ortiz recently won the MLB Award for "Best Player/Fan Interaction".
2. UW Wrestler Bryce Meredith Advances to National Championship - Meredith became the first Poke to make the NCAA finals since 1996 and the 32nd All-American in Wyoming history.
Meredith lost a tough 3-2 decision in the final and finished as the national runner-up with a 29-5 record for the season, propelling the Pokes to an 18th place finish in the NCAA Tournament, their best ranking in 20 years.
3. Pokes Upset 13th Ranked Boise State - Wyoming's resurgent football program gave Pokes fans several exciting weekends this year, including a thrilling triple overtime win in the season opener against Northern Illinois, a blowout win over Colorado State in the Border War and knocking off 25th-ranked San Diego State on their way to the Mountain West Conference Championship.
But no moment was bigger than the Pokes' upset over then-13th ranked and undefeated Boise State in October. At the time, it was Wyoming's first win over a Top 25 opponent since 2002.
4. Brandon Nimmo Makes the Show - Five years after being drafted by the New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo made his Major League debut in June.
The pride of Cheyenne East High School played well in his first big league stint, collecting 12 hits in his first 50 at bats, with one home run and four RBI.
Before his call-up, Nimmo batted .328 for Triple-A Las Vegas. Nimmo is expected to compete for a permanent roster spot with the Mets in 2017.
5. Josh Adams Sets Wyoming Basketball Single-Season Scoring Record - Josh Adams had a senior season for the ages.
His 24.9 points per game was the third highest scoring average in the nation. His 722 points broke the single-season record of 701 set by Flynn Robinson in 1965. Adams was also named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
Unfortunately, Adams was seriously injured in a car accident after singing a contract to play professionally in Russia. After undergoing neck surgery, Adams isn't expected to be back on the court for several months.