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NEXT 2016

MEET 5 NATURAL WONDERS WHO'LL BE WINNING ON THE WORLD STAGE IN THE COMING DECADE

SYDNEY RICE

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier added a new play in 2005: "It's called throw-it-in-the-air-and-let-Sidney-go-get-it." Rice, a 6'4" freshman wideout, caught 70 passes for 1,143 yards and 13 TDs. "I've never coached a player quite like him," gushes the Ol' Ball Coach. No wonder the 19-year-old Rice says, "I love going to practice!"

WHEN HE'LL POP: If the homegrown talent spends four years on campus and he says he wants to pencil in Rice for the 2010 Pro Bowl.

 


INDIGO MONK

This snowboarder still gets money from the Tooth Fairy and more from her sponsors. "She's a prodigy," says DC Shoes exec Amy Botts. Monk, an 11-year-old from Manhattan Beach, Calif., won her Freestyle and Slopestyle age-group events at the 2005 nationals and landed jaw-dropping 45-footers during an exhibition at Park City's Roxy Chicken Jam. Her nickname: Go- Go. Of course.

WHEN SHE'LL POP: Go-Go time is 2009, at the U.S. Open of Snowboarding. (That's before her wisdom teeth come in.)

 


CHASE AUSTIN

His bosses call him the Chosen One. He owns 16 micro-sprint, five dirt and two asphalt wins. He's biracial, a rarity in racing. And, at age 16, he has been tapped by Star Motorsports, a new team whose celebrity investors including the Wayans brothers are betting big on the kid from Kansas. Says Marlon Wayans, "Chase will be a Hollywoodstyle force in NASCAR's future."

WHEN HE'LL POP: Come 2011, Austin will give new meaning to "Chase for the Cup."

 


SOLOMON ALABI

Potential is no curse for this 16-year-old Nigerian. He wowed the 2004 Basketball Without Borders camp in Johannesburg, gained a spot at Orlando's Montverde Academy and is ranked 50th in the Class of 2007 by one recruiting guru. Yes, Alabi has been playing hoops for just two years, but his suitors Florida State, Kentucky, Ohio State don't mind. Did we mention he's 7'1"?

WHEN HE'LL POP: Scouts will be hyping Alabi as the next Tim Duncan by 2009.

 


JUSTIN UPTON

As his agent negotiated a record $6.1 million deal, MLB's top draft choice had other priorities. Like his prom. Now signed with Arizona, this 18-year-old is ready to strut some more. Upton, a 6'3", 205-pound shortstop, hit over .500 at Great Bridge High in Chesapeake, Va., last spring. And unlike his glovelorn brother, B.J. (drafted second by Tampa in 2002), Justin can pick it.

WHEN HE'LL POP: The D-Backs expect Upton to rattle the bigs in 2008.