When you're choosing a name for your future baby, it's normal to turn to people you admire for inspiration. If you're an athlete, or even just an avid sports fan, looking to the greats is the perfect place to start. There are plenty of baby names inspired by famous athletes that would make a great choice for your future sports lover.

Whether you're hoping to raise the next Olympic athlete, instill a sense of competition or work ethic in your child, or just give them a name from someone you look up to, your favorite athlete is the perfect place to start.

Though I was never very good at sports as a child, to my husband, sports were his life. He grew up playing every sport he could squeeze into his schedule. He looked up to his favorite athletes and aspired to be like them. After seeing the influence not only playing baseball and football (and everything else) but watching his favorite athletes had on my husband's childhood, the thought of naming a baby after one of them doesn't seem out of the question.

Some of these names are common enough that they wouldn't be obvious namesakes, while others are more or less trademarked by the athlete. Whichever route you choose, there is something inspirational about these names and the athletes they represent.

1. Serena


Though the name dates back to ancient Rome, tennis star Serena Williams has brought it back into the spotlight. It means "tranquil or serene" in Latin.

2. Landry

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The quarterback for the Pittsburg Steelers has more going for him than his football career. His name is a unique and gender-neutral choice that means "ruler" in French.

3. Ali


Though his Muhammad would be a hard name to pull off, Ali is a little bit more accessible. It means "exalted" in Swahili and would be a great name for either a boy or girl.

4. Peyton

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Though Peyton's retiring from the NFL, his name won't be leaving the limelight anytime soon. Peyton is a great gender-neutral name popular for both both boys and girls and means "fighting mans estate."

5. James


Although there can only be one LeBron, the name James is easier to steal and pay tribute to the basketball legend. It dates back to Biblical times and means "supplanter."

6. Ronda


If you're a fan of UFC, naming your child after superstar Ronda Rousey isn't unheard of. Her name is Welsh for "noisy one," believe it or not.

7. Ruth


You don't have to name your baby Babe to pay homage to baseball great Babe Ruth. Ruth is a beautiful and less popular name that dates back to the Bible and means "compassionate friend."

8. Danica

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Danica Patrick is a NASCAR driver in a very male-dominated field. Her name means "morning star" and is as beautiful as it is unique.

9. Shaun

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The Irish diminutive of John, is the name of snowboarder Shaun White and olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Its a great gender-neutral choice from two of America's most famous athletes.

10. Mia

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Soccer star Mia Hamm has a gorgeous name meaning "mine" in Italian that could either stand on its own or be a shortened version of Amelia or Emily.

11. Gretchen

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Gretchen Blieler is a professional half-pipe snowboarder and her name is just as great as she is. The name is German for "pearl" and would make a great name for anyone looking for a unique option.

12. Michael


It's hard to narrow this name down to a handful of athletes, but Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps are perhaps the most well-known. The name means "who is like God" and is a great name that doesn't scream "I was named after a famous athlete".

13. Gabrielle

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Gabrielle Reece is an American volleyball player and her name is a beautiful choice meaning "God is my strength."