Florida is rich with talent, and it is very evident in the sports arena! You don’t have to look far from your front door to find someone who has excelled in football, golf, swimming or other sports. We are proud to highlight a few here.

Tim Tebow: Tim attended Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach. He attended the University of Florida, where he won two national championships in 2006 and 2008. He also became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He played for the Jets, Eagles and Patriots. He even played pro baseball in 2016. 

Off the field, the Tim Tebow Foundation brings faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. Their missions include special needs ministry, orphan care and prevention, children with profound medical needs and anti-human trafficking.

Cliff Avril: Cliff attended Clay High School, where he was a four-sport star in football, track and field, weightlifting and basketball. He attended Purdue University and was drafted in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In 2013, he moved on to the Seattle Seahawks and retired in 2018.  

His real heroic actions can be seen by his founding of the Cliff Avril Family Foundation in March 2014. Inspired by the loss of his grandmother and his mother’s diagnosis of diabetes, Cliff realized the importance of educating today’s youth about healthy living.

The Cliff Avril Family Foundation’s mission is to increase the awareness of Type 2 diabetes in youth, to encourage healthy living through nutrition and exercise as well as to provide educational support and opportunities to youth in Haiti, along with various community-based organizations in Jacksonville, Seattle and Charlotte.

Vince Carter: Vince graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach. He played basketball, football and volleyball while in high school. In his professional career, he played in the NBA for 22 seasons for the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks. He was Rookie of the Year in 1999 and was a nine-time NBA All-Star.

In 1998, he established the Embassy of Hope Foundation to help address the needs of children and their parents. The Vince Carter Embassy of Hope Foundation provides food baskets at Christmas, helps clothe needy families and more.

To learn more about Vince Carter’s Embassy of Hope Foundation, listen to the EVOLVE Podcast of Michelle Carter, Executive Director.

Chipper Jones: Chipper attended school at T. DeWitt Taylor High School in Pierson and the Bolles School in Jacksonville. He played for the Atlanta Braves. His accomplishments include being named at MLB All-Star eight times and winning the 1995 World series. He is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Chipper Jones Family Foundation established the Around the Horn Field of Dreams Program. The program has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair and refurbish ball fields in Florida and Georgia. It provides help to youth baseball in communities where Chipper Jones has played baseball: Pierson and Deland, Florida, and Atlanta. Little league and YMCA programs have benefited from the Chipper Jones Family Foundation.

Lisa Andersen: Lisa went to Seabreeze High School. She won four straight women’s world surfing championships between 1994 and 1997. She was inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

Lisa was a trailblazer for women in surfing, being the first woman to appear on the cover of Surfer Magazine.

Phil Dalhausser: Phil attended Mainland High School in Daytona Beach. He went on to play volleyball for the University of Central Florida. As a professional beach volleyball player, he has won multiple world championships and Olympic Gold medals.

Phil has sponsored charity volleyball tournaments to raise funds for charities such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, as well as donated signed volleyballs for charity auctions.

Reilly Opelka: Reilly Opelka is a tennis professional who moved to Palm Coast at the age of 4.  He played in Wimbledon in 2015, and has 2 ATP singles and 1 doubles title.  He also advanced to the fourth round in the 2021 Open.  

In the 2021 Miami Open, Reilly donated $100 for each of ace he served to the Wings of Life Foundation, an institution that works for spinal cord injury research. In December 2021, he participated in a celebrity tournament for the Sally Wilkey Foundation.

Caeleb Dressel: Caeleb graduated from Clay High School and swam for the University of Florida, graduating in 2018.  He won his first gold medal in 2016 and in 2020 won five gold medals.  

Caeleb is still active in professional swimming and is known to be a genuinely nice guy, stopping to encourage younger swimmers and being a great role model with his down-to-earth manner.

Laura Brown: She played on the University of Florida golf team until 1991. During that time, she received first-team All-SEC and honorable mention All-American honors. She joined the LPGA tour in 1994 and played on the tour until 1997. In 1998, she became the coach of the women’s golf team at Daytona State College. Brown has continued her involvement with the LPGA, as she is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division. In 2010 she was named LPGA National Coach of the Year. She was also named the 2005, 2010 and 2011 LPGA SE Section Coach of the Year. Additionally, Brown has received the 2005, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2016 NJCAA Ccoach of the Tournament Award. Brown serves as the president of the NJCAA Women’s Golf Coaches Association and was inducted into the NJCAA Coaches Association Hall of Fame in May 2009.