Kentucky (FOX 56) — What do Muhammad Ali, P.J. Washington, and Michael Waltrip have in common?

All three were, at one point, professional athletes, and hail from the state of Kentucky.

Despite being a smaller state, Kentucky has managed to produce many well-known athletes over the years. BetKentucky wanted to know which homegrown athletes were trending in 2023.

Utilizing Google Trends and, BetKentucky analyzed the most searched athletes from Kentucky over the last 12 months.

Consistent with his nickname “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali laid claim to the top of the charts, even seven years after his death. Ali was named the heavyweight champion of the world not once, not twice, but three times — the only professional boxer to do so.

(Original Caption) Lewiston: Heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and stands over the downed Sonny Liston and taunts him after knocking him out in the first round of their title match May 25. (Getty Images)

Ali was born on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville and is still a prominent figure in Louisville’s history to this day. Fans can tour the Ali Center in Downtown Louisville to learn more about his life inside and outside of the boxing ring.


The top 10 most searched athletes from Kentucky are:

  1. Muhammad Ali, Louisville — 398K searches
  2. Justin Thomas, Louisville — 188K searches
  3. DeVante Parker, Louisville — 64K searches
  4. P.J. Washington, Louisville — 54K searches
  5. Walker Buehler, Lexington — 37K searches
  6. Adam Duvall, Louisville — 31K searches
  7. Phil Simms, Springfield — 20K searches
  8. Montez Sweat, Richmond — 16K searches
  9. Shaun Alexander, Florence — 12K searches
  10. Michael Waltrip, Owensboro — 11K searches

Thomas, the owner of two PGA Championship trophies, happens to be one of the top golfers currently on the PGA Tour and the highest searched, currently active, athlete on the list. Born in Louisville and raised in Oldham County, Thomas ranks 10th all-time in earnings on the tour, having earned more than $53.4 million in career winnings.

The other athletes currently active on the list are Parker, Washington, Buehler, Duvall, and Sweat.

To read more about some of the remaining athletes on the list, click here.