Four athletes who earned Pro Bowl recognition and a basketball standout and NBA All-Star head the list of the greatest high school athletes from New Mexico.
Five most dominant high school athletes in New Mexico history Jim Everett, Eldorado (Albuquerque), 1981
Recruited as a possible safety coming out of high school where he played both offense (QB) and defense in leading his team to a state championship. At Purdue, Everett was a third-time All-American as a senior and threw for 3,651 yards and 23 touchdowns. In the NFL with three teams, Everett made the Pro Bowl once, led the NFL in passing yards twice and threw for 34,837 yards in his career.
Brian Urlacher, Lovington, 1996
Although known as a defensive standout, Urlacher was known for his offensive abilities in high school. In leading Lovington to a 14-0 record and a state championship, Urlacher had 20 touchdowns and earned All-State honors. He also earned All-State recognition in basketball. As a member of the Chicago Bears, Urlacher went to eight Pro Bowls, was All-Pro four times and was voted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2018.Ralph Neely, Farmington, 1961
A 13-year veteran in the NFL as an offensive tackle, Neely was also All-State in high school as a basketball center. He won his acclaim in football, however, as he earned All-State honors twice at Farmington and was a two-time All-American at Oklahoma. With the Cowboys in the NFL, Neely earned All-Pro honors four times.Tommy McDonald, Highland (Albuquerque), 1953
Set a state scoring record his senior year with 157 points at Highland. He also set scoring records in basketball and won five gold medals at the state track meet. He went on to become one of the top players in college football, winning the Maxwell Award while not losing a single game in his three seasons at Oklahoma. A six-time Pro Bowl player in the NFL with the Eagles, McDonald was one of the NFL's top 10 all-time leading receivers by the time he retired.Bill Bridges, Hobbs, 1958
A member of the great Hobbs basketball dynasty of the 1950s under legendary coach Ralph Tasker, Bridges played on three straight state championship teams. He went on to an All-American career at Kansas where he ranks as one of the school's top 10 all-time scorers. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Hawks, and was a three-time All-Star.
Also considered: Nancy Lopez, Goddard, golf; Kathy Whitworth, Jal, golf; Tom Brookshier,
Roswell, football; Duane Ward, Farmington, baseball; Cathy Carr,
Highland, swimming; Steve Ontiveros, Tularosa, baseball