Inside the May Issue of Sports Illustrated, available at SI.com and on newsstands today: As A Unique Star Among Elite Quarterback Prospects, Bryce Young Paved His Own Way to An NFL Future; The Bond Between TV’s Van Gundy Brothers Remain As Strong As Ever; World Ninja, The Sport That Started As A TV Show And Spread Across The Country; WNBA Season Preview: How the New York Liberty Became the League’s First Superteam; and more
Ahead of this year’s NFL Draft, Sports Illustrated has everything you need to know about one of the game’s most promising young quarterbacks. Bryce Young’s height – he’s just 5' 10" – makes him an atypical prospect, but he has paved his own way as an elite quarterback at every level. Senior Writer Conor Orr goes inside the key to his success: a centered family that nurtured him to become an exception to the rule. Bringing Up Bryce is inside Sports Illustrated’s NFL Draft Preview Issue, on sale online and on newsstands starting today, with all the latest NFL Draft coverage at SI.com. Also inside the issue, Steve Rushin chronicles Jeff and Stan Van Gundy’s long, strange journey to your TV screen, a wild WNBA offseason has the 2020 top draft pick, Sabrina Ionescu, joining the New York Liberty, Ninja Warrior competitions are spreading across the country in a fight for the future of the sport from Brian Burnsed, and more.
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Photography: Jeffery A. Salter/Sports Illustrated
On the Cover
How big of an outlier is Bryce Young? Besides Kyler Murray (the first NFL Draft pick in 2019), no quarterback under six feet has been drafted in the first round since 1970. He first made his mark at Mater Dei High School as the first Black quarterback in the storied program’s history to win a California state title. As a starter at the University of Alabama, Young won the Heisman Trophy in 2021. Despite it being clear that Bryce Young is a high-level athlete, critics still question if he is ready for the NFL. Conor Orr projects a bright future for whoever takes Young in the draft.
Inside The May Issue:
- Schlep Brothers: If you’re watching an NBA game from opening night to Game 7 of the Finals, chances are one Van Gundy brother or the other will be the voice you hear. Jeff and Stan have a fraternal bond as peripatetic commentators and sideline voices that remain as strong as ever, from special contributor Steve Rushin.
- Liberty For All: The starting five of the New York Liberty – Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Courtney Vandersloot, Sabrina Ionescu, and Betnijah Laney – boast unprecedented talent and usher in the WNBA’s superteam era, according to Howard Megdal. The only remaining question: can they torch the rest of the league?
- Go Ninja: Brian Burnsed covers the fight for the future of a sport that started as a TV show, with gyms and competitions spread across the country with very real training today. Often attracting kids who don’t feel like they fit in anywhere else in sports, Kaden Lebsack is one young World Ninja athlete fighting to drive the sport forward.
Also in this issue:
- Leading Off: 50 years after Secretariat dominated horse racing, images of that magical season still resonate.
- Scorecard: Rohan Nadkarni on how the game changes in the NBA playoffs: players and teams must have an answer for their weaknesses.
- So You Want To Be A…: Player turned referee Natalie Simon on what it's like to reprogram her brain and be the first Black woman to earn a FIFA badge.
- SI Gameplan: Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham (who plays Rebecca) on how the show goes to great lengths to have multidimensional, well-drawn female characters.
- History Lesson: Emma Baccellieri on how rule changes in baseball are a tradition as old as the game itself.
About Sports Illustrated
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