Best of Philly

Best Athlete

2023 Best Wildcat

Maddy Siegrist

Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist may not have led her team to victory in the NCAA tournament this year. But that’s just about the only honor that eluded the recent grad — and number three pick in the WNBA draft. In her storied career, she was the all-time Big Five women’s scoring leader, the fastest Wildcat to reach 1,000 points, the Big East’s all-time regular-season scorer, and a multiple Player of the Week honoree; notched records for most points in a game and most field goals made … and became ’Nova’s leading all-time scorer, male or female, breaking a 36-year-old record. Look for her this WNBA season in a Dallas Wings uni. Read More »

2023 Best Stickwork

Erin Matson

Chadds Ford native and Unionville High grad Erin Matson was named the head coach of UNC’s field hockey team — at the ripe old age of 22. During her Tar Heel playing career, she became the all-time leading scorer in ACC and NCAA Tournament history, was a five-time ACC Player of the Year, and won four national titles. Sports Illustrated calls her “the Michael Jordan of American college field hockey.” Asked about his daughter’s precocious achievement, her father Brian noted, “She’s always been hanging out with people older than she is.” Read More »

2023 Best Sports Performance

Jalen Hurts

The thing we love most about Hurts is that as good as his season was — and it was incredibly good — he never seemed satisfied. His interviews after every contest, nearly all of them wins, focused not only on what went right out on the field but also on what didn’t. It’s why the team seemed to improve each week and why, despite the most heartbreaking of Super Bowl losses, we feel he’s the on-the-field leader who can finish the job. Read More »

2023 Best Next Hope

Boots Ennis

You’re forgiven if you haven’t heard of Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Boxing, even in a storied pugilist town like ours, isn’t the draw it once was. But Germantown’s Ennis, one of the sport’s brightest rising stars, is pressing the issue. The welterweight is 30-0 — including 27 knockouts — and eagerly awaiting his chance for the title, which will depend on the result of Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.’s late-July fight. Now, whether the winner will agree to climb into the ring with Boots is another matter. Read More »

2023 Best Monument With a Kick

Cabrini University’s Fredia Gibbs statue

Delco has produced its fair share of star athletes. The most recent to be honored in the form of a dynamic bronze statue (and the state’s first of a female athlete): Cabrini alum and International Sport Kickboxing Association world title holder Fredia Gibbs. The Chester native originally made a name for herself in basketball — first playing for Cabrini, then professionally in Europe. After her return to the U.S., Gibbs took up kickboxing and recorded eight straight victories with 15 KOs. “The Most Dangerous Woman in the World,” indeed. Read More »

2023 Best Miracle on Ice

Isabeau Levito

What a year it’s been for Mount Holly’s Isabeau Levito, who won a gold medal in the Philadelphia Summer International ice-skating competition, silver in the 2022 Skate America and MK John Wilson Trophy events, and then gold in the U.S. Figure Skating Championship, among other honors. She’s all of 16 years old. Read More »

2023 Best Lovably Flaky Sports Star

Brandon Marsh

The most quixotic Phillie ever  wears his unkempt hair and unruly beard as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to his clean-cut dad Jake, who got a haircut every week of his life before he died of cancer in 2021. Marsh told the Inquirer before last year’s World Series that he sometimes sees Jake’s spirit in the butterflies riding the outfield breezes during games: “It’s a comforting feeling, having him there with me.” Flutter on, Jake! But there’s more! After Marsh saw on Twitter that 92-year-old Lancaster grandma Lois Hostetter got a birthday present of a pillow with his mug on it, Marsh arranged to sign it for her, sending it back with a gloveful of goodies. And he can hit, too! Read More »

2023 Best Hoops Hopes

Justin Edwards, D.J. Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw

Edwards (six-foot-seven out of Imhotep Charter School), Wagner (six-two out of Camden High) and Bradshaw (seven-one, also Camden) are among ESPN’s top six high-school basketball prospects in the nation. They’ve all committed to Tyrese Maxey’s alma mater of Kentucky. And they’re all projected to go in the first round of the 2024 NBA draft. Maybe this is the Philly hoops team we should be trusting in. Read More »

2023 Best Homecoming

Haason Reddick

We were excited when the Eagles inked the Camden native/Temple alum edge rusher ahead of the 2022 season. Then he went on a sacking spree (19.5 between the regular season and playoffs!) that led the Birds all the way to the Super Bowl, and we lost our minds. No pressure, but we’re expecting similarly big things from another local product: onetime St. Joe’s Prep star D’Andre Swift, whom the Eagles stole in a draft-day trade in April. Read More »

2022 Best Lip-Reading Kerfuffle

Alec Bohm’s “I Fucking Hate This Place” Moment

After the Phillies third baseman made two bonehead errors in an early April game, fans at Citizens Bank Park considerately stood and applauded his routine throw to first base for an out. TV cameras consequently caught him saying, well, the quote above to shortstop Didi Gregorius. He then committed one last error, just to ice the cake. (To be fair, Bohm also hit a double and earned two walks — and the Phils came from behind to win, 5-4, over the Mets.) After the game, the young player apologized to fans and insisted he didn’t mean it: “Look, emotions got the best of me.” The next night, fans gave him a (sincere) standing O. Read More »