LOCAL NAMES MAKE GOOD

Athletes with Bay Area ties managed to generate headlines across the nation. And -- in the case of Linsanity -- around the world:

Jeremy Lin: After spending his early NBA career ignored and unemployed, the kid from Palo Alto High suddenly became a global sensation, with "Linsanity" a top-trending topic on Twitter.

Lin, cut by the Warriors and Houston, caught his long-awaited break when injuries opened a spot on the New York Knicks. He capitalized by becoming the first NBA player to tally at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first five starts.

But the numbers hardly told the story. The first American of Taiwanese decent to play in the NBA captured the imagination of fans with a string of game-winning shots and dazzling performances. His onslaught included a 38-point outburst in a 92-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Bay Area Olympians: Alex Morgan, the former Cal star, was selected as U.S. Soccer's 2012 Female Athlete of the Year, in part for her performance at the London Games.

Morgan's header in extra time defeated Canada in the semifinals. In the Olympics, Morgan had three goals and five assists. For the year, she joined Mia Hamm (1988) as U.S. women's players to post at least 20 goals and 20 assists in a season. Her 21 assists tied for second in a calendar year with Carin Jennings (1991).


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Another Bay Area headliner was Kerri Walsh Jennings, who capped her beach volleyball partnership with Misty May-Treanor with a third gold medal.

"It truly feels surreal," said Walsh Jennings, the 6-foot-3 power hitter who grew up in Scotts Valley. "And it didn't feel like that the first two times for whatever reason. But this, it's almost too good to be true."

In the pool, Cal alum Dana Vollmer won three swimming golds and set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly. Nathan Adrian, also from Cal, won golds in the 100 freestyle and 400 medley relay and a silver in the 400 freestyle relay.

Danville's Maggie Steffens, now a Stanford freshman, scored a tournament-leading 21 goals, including a record-tying seven in one match, to lift the U.S. women's water polo team to its first gold medal.

Andrew Luck: Unlike another No. 1 draft pick from Stanford, Luck is enjoying a much easier transition to the NFL. While Jim Plunkett -- No. 1 pick in 1971 -- took years of NFL lumps before winning two Super Bowls with the Raiders, Luck made it look easy from his first snap.

The heir to Peyton Manning guided Indianapolis (10-5) back into the playoffs and broke Cam Newton's rookie single-season record for passing yards.

All that for a franchise that won two games last season.

"Could we have done this without him?" interim coach Bruce Arians said after the most recent victory. "No."

  • Stanford graduate Nneka Ogwumike was the WNBA's rookie of the year after averaging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

  • Local boxers continued to pile up wins at the top level, led by super-middleweight champion Andre Ward of Oakland (26-0, 14 KOs), welterweight champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero of Gilroy (31-1-1, 18 KOs) and super-bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire of San Lorenzo High (31-1, 20 KOs).

    HIGH SCHOOL HIGHS

  • De La Salle won another state football championship, defeating Centennial-Corona 48-28 to make it four in a row in the Open Division. The victory was No. 399 in the legendary 33-year coaching career of Bob Ladouceur, who has acknowledged he's thinking about stepping away from his head coaching post.

  • Archbishop Mitty pulled off double state basketball championships in Division II. The Monarchs boys won their second consecutive title, beating La Costa Canyon-Carlsbad 78-57 as junior Aaron Gordon had 33 points and 20 rebounds. The Mitty girls defeated J.W. North-Riverside 56-54 for their first state championship since 2008.

    -- DANIEL BROWN