NEXT –  Luka Doncic, Nyjah Huston, Sydney McLaughlin (from top left) Janja Garnbret, Trevor Lawrence and Renee Montgomery (from bottom left) were the sports personalities named in TIME Magazine’s TIME100 Next, an expansion of its flagship TIME 100: Most Influential People list that focuses on emerging leaders. (Mixed photos from AFP, Nyjah Huston’s website, World Athletics’ website, Olympic Channel’s website and Renee Montgomery’s Instagram account)

TIME Magazine recently released its list for TIME100 Next, an expansion of its flagship TIME 100: Most Influential People.

With Next, TIME featured 100 “emerging leaders who are shaping the future” and the way they have impacted today’s generation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the Next profiles were penned by TIME100 Alumni or those who were named as Most Influential People for a certain year.

For 2021, the likes of Luka Doncic, Nyjah Huston, Sydney McLaughlin, Janja Garnbret, Trevor Lawrence and Renee Montgomery were among the sports personalities who made it to the Next list.

Check out the future leaders of the sporting world:


Luka Doncic

Photo from AFP

Mavericks’ gentle giant Boban Marjanovic wrote the heartwarming profile for his teammate Luka Doncic, citing that the 21-year-old Slovenian wunderkind has already made it into the all-NBA First team at his age.

Marjanovic believes that Doncic “is set to earn many more honors” with his “Luka Magic.”

“You can’t relax on the court with Luka Doncic. Even if you’re not open, he can make Luka magic at any moment—throwing a perfect pass that somehow lands in your hands. Every game, he debuts a new move. It’s crazy,” wrote Marjanovic.

“I see the influence he carries. Before the pandemic, kids would crowd arenas and team hotels, hoping to see him. And he always made time to sign autographs, to share that Luka magic with the world.”

Nyjah Huston

Photo from Nyjah Huston’s website

Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk was all praises for multi-titled Californian sensation Nyjah Huston.

“He has the technical precision of the greatest athletes, in any sport—and I have no doubt that when skateboarding makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer, he’ll be recognized as a top talent,” wrote Hawk.

Hawk is just stating the facts though.

Huston, representing the US, has won four gold medals and two silvers in the street category of the World Skateboarding Championship 

In the X Games, Huston, 26, has so far collected 19 medals including 13 golds, 4 silvers, and two bronzes.

“There’s still an antiquated view of skateboarding out there, that it’s a slacker white kid’s sport for outcasts. But the sport has long transcended that stereotype,” added the 52-year-old Hawk.

“Once they see Nyjah perform, people around the world will have a deeper appreciation for the kids they see in skate parks, falling off of ramps and rails over and over and over. They’ll now know what those kids are striving for, what those kids can be. Thanks to Nyjah, they’ll know what’s possible.”

Sydney McLaughlin

Photo from World Athletics’ website

Olympic hurdler Sydney McLaughlin of Team USA has used her platform as an athlete to advocate for social justice and against bullying.

And this is a factor that Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix, also of Team USA, considered commendable for the 21-year-old McLaughlin,  a world champion in the 4×400-meter and a world silver medalist in the 400-meter hurdles.

“I’ve enjoyed watching her learn to use her voice and speak up on issues that she’s passionate about—using her platform to advocate against bullying, for example—and I know that the mark she will leave on this world will be so much bigger than records and medals,” wrote Felix. 

“She will show girls and women that success doesn’t make your life easy, that bullying happens even when you’re beautiful, and that your voice has power beyond what you could ever imagine.”

McLaughlin became the youngest US track and field Olympian since 1972, debuting at 17 years old during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Games.

Janja Garnbret

Photo from Olympic Channel’s website

Janja Garnbret, at 21 years old, is poised to be in the spotlight in the 2021 Tokyo Games when competitive climbing debuts in the Olympics.

The multi-titled Slovenian youngster, who has competed and won several times in the World Cup, World Championships and European Championships, hopes to make her Olympic debut a springboard to recognition and awareness of the sport.

“I have a responsibility to show the sport to the world, and to set a good example,” Garnbret told TIME as quoted by Billy Perrigo. 

“I’m the kind of person who, if I’m not having fun, then I definitely won’t get a good result. I’m going there to enjoy it, because I know if I enjoy it, everything will be okay.”

Trevor Lawrence

Photo from AFP

Trevor Lawrence, the projected No. 1 pick in April’s NFL draft, is starting to make a name for himself even before turning professional.

Aside from being one of the most talented quarterbacks in college football, Lawrence used his platform as an athlete to help those in need and stand against police brutality.

The product of Clemson Tigers, who is expected to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, created a COVID-19 relief fund with his fiancée, Marissa Mowry to assist families in his hometown of Cartersville, Ga., and upstate South Carolina.

“Whoever decides to draft me, they’re going to get all of me,” said Lawrence as quoted by Sean Gregory. “The expectations I set for myself will be higher than anybody else’s. And just know that college was just a glimpse of what I plan to do.”


Renee Montgomery

Photo from Rene Montgomery’s Instagram account via @powerthephotographer

“2020 was an unconventional year, and Renee Montgomery is an unconventional woman.” 

That is how TIME described the former WNBA star in Next’s profile written by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

The two-time WNBA champion in early February announced her retirement from the sport after 11 seasons in the league in exchange for a larger cause — social justice reform.

The 34-year-old Montgomery, who earned two WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and 2017, opted out of the 2020 WNBA season last June to pursue her advocacy.

“Renee met the moment and announced that she was opting out of the WNBA’s 2020 season to work for social–justice reform. Less than a year later, through a series of initiatives focused on education and political engagement, Renee has cemented her place in Atlanta’s long history of leadership on civil rights,” wrote Bottoms

Source: Manila Bulletin (