LeBron James
Photo: @kingjames/Instagram

From NBA and NFL to MLB and NHL, each league has players coming from all across the US, but which are the most beloved players hailing from Ohio?

To see which sports stars have won over the most fans, BetOhio.com have created an index ranking athletes from Ohio based on various factors such as social media mentions, follower growth, and average monthly searches.

Coming out on top with an extremely impressive index score of 95.3 out of 100 is Lakers player and one of basketball’s most famous faces having played in the NBA for 20 years, LeBron James. Receiving the highest scores for average monthly search volumes (4,200,000), total Wikipedia page views (6,400,000), follower growth in 2022 (26,100,000) and social media mentions (4,500,000), it’s no surprise he’s Ohio’s most popular sports star.

The only thing LeBron doesn’t have the top score for is the percentage of positive online conversations in 2022 at 16.3% behind six other stars in the top 10. But perhaps this is due to being so well-known?

In second with a score of 66.9 is another NBA player, this time for the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry. He receives strong scores for average searches (3,800,000), Wikipedia page views (6,300,000), and social media mentions (2,000,000) with the main difference between him and LeBron being due to a smaller yet still impressive follower growth of 7,600,000 in 2022.

NFL quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson, finds himself in third place with a score of 26.3. Rounding out the top five are two NFL players and brothers, Travis Kelce (14.7) who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs and Jason Kelce (13.8) for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Below is a table showing Ohio’s top 10 most popular sports stars:

PositionPlayerIndex score
1LeBron James95.3
2Stephen Curry66.9
3Russell Wilson26.3
4Travis Kelce14.7
5Jason Kelce13.8
6Kyle Schwarber11.8
7CJ McCollum10
8Chris Bassitt9.4
9Denzel Ward8.4
10Mitchell Trubisky6.9

To find out more about the research, please visit: https://www.betohio.com/news/who-were-ohio-s-most-popular-athletes-of-2022