Fullerton is a place of many distinctions. It was originally considered an agricultural hub, known for its production of citrus fruits. It’s also become known for its high-quality educational institutes, as well as being considered the “birthplace of the electric guitar”, because of Leo Fender’s birth nearby.
As well as the above, Fullerton has become known for its sports personalities. You may be surprised to find out how many famous sportspeople were born in Southern California!
Here are some Southern California sports personalities you should be keeping an eye on.
The Samuelson Sisters
Katie Lou and Karlie Anne Samuelson are sisters and professional basketball players. Their basketball talent is no surprise really, considering their father played for Cal State Fullerton and married an English National netball player.
Interestingly, the two girls’ older sister Bonnie was also a star basketball player (for the Great Britain women’s national team) but chose to retire from the sport and study optometry. These two show no signs of stopping, though.
In early 2020, Katie Lou was traded to the Dallas Wings, making her and big sis Karlie teammates for the first time in their pro careers.
Since lockdown, the two have been entertaining themselves and the rest of the world with their impressive ball-dribbling performance of the Toosie Slide.
You may not have heard of Paul Hoffman, but this 60-year-old Special Olympian is an inspiring character. He began taking part in the Special Olympics in 1986, and he’s still going strong today.
Paul is not only a veteran athlete, having competed in events like bocce, bowling, tennis, and snowshoeing (despite being from Orange County), but he also has the sparkling achievement of being selected as the Special Olympics organization’s first Global Messenger from California.
Paul has played a big role in gaining public awareness for the Special Olympics and remains a steadfast believer that every Special Olympics athlete has something unique and useful to offer the world.
Southern California seems to produce great golfers, and Christine Song is one of them. Born in Burbank, she resides in Fullerton when she isn’t on tour.
Song started playing golf at the age of 10 and began getting noticed four years later in 2005. As an amateur, she racked up a few wins and plenty of Honorable Mentions.
Her pro career has been a little less smooth, consistently being forced to return to Q-School to requalify and subsequently outperforming everyone there. She does have 5 professional wins under her belt, all on the Symetra Tour between 2010 and 2016.
This 6 feet 7.5 inch Fullerton native is the small forward for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. He too comes from sporting blood – his mother played basketball for Jackson State and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2009. She also played professional basketball in Europe, and so young Johnson naturally followed in her footsteps.
Johnson signed to the Toronto Raptors in July 2019 but had a bit of a rough time with them up until COVID-19 hit. He did sink a game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA Restart in Orlando.
There is much to look forward to, seeing what he brings out as the new season begins.
Perhaps the most famous sportsman to come out of Southern California, Tiger Woods was born in Cypress and grew up in Orange County.
His father, Earl, was a single-digit handicapper who introduced his son to the sport of golf before he was two. Little Tiger astounded everyone with his talent – at the age of five, he appeared in Golf Digest, at eight he won his first Junior World Championship and carried on to win it six times in total!
Despite being plagued by health and injury problems and personal struggles, Woods remains one of, if not the most iconic golfer of modern times.