10 Rising Sports Stars to Watch in 2024

The world’s biggest sports leagues remain dominated by veteran superstars with established brands. But young, Rising sports are waiting in the wings ready to take the spotlight. Here are a few rising sports stars poised for breakout campaigns in 2024 that could lead to superstardom.

Top Rising Sports Stars to Watch in 2024

10. Alejandro Zendejas (Soccer)

This 21-year-old Mexican forward made his El Tri senior debut in 2022 after starring for Mexico’s youth national teams. Zendejas plays club soccer for Philadelphia Union in MLS, where he was named MLS Cup MVP in 2022 after leading Philadelphia to their first title.

In 2023, Zendejas will look to build on his debut season and help Philadelphia defend its MLS crown. But all eyes will be on 2024 when he’ll get the chance to shine on the international stage for Mexico at the Copa América tournament.

Zendejas is an explosive attacking winger with game-changing speed, dribbling skills, and crossing ability. He has the talent to unlock defenses and create goals. If he can refine his decision-making and final touch, his stellar footwork and blazing acceleration could make him a household name in 2024.

9. Jordan Spieth (Golf)

10 Rising Sports Stars to Watch in 2024

It’s easy to forget Jordan Spieth is still just 30 years old since he exploded onto the golf scene in 2015 by winning the Masters and US Open to capture two majors at age 21. He nearly won the Grand Slam that year before falling just short at The Open.

Spieth remained an elite golfer through 2018, consistently contending at majors and notching 11 PGA Tour victories. But from 2019-2020 he slumped, falling to 92nd in the world rankings in 2021 after years of wayward driving and putting woes.

Just when people were ready to write him off, Spieth’s game came roaring back in 2021. He won his first tournament in four years and added a few more top-5 major finishes in 2021-22. His elite short game and putting stroke also returned.

Now sitting at world #13 entering 2023, Jordan Spieth has shaken off the doubters. With his confidence and hunger restored, if Spieth can solve his driving accuracy issues, he has all the tools to recapture his top 5 form. Don’t be surprised if he contends at Augusta and takes home another green jacket in 2024.

8. Yordan Alvarez (Baseball)

In just three MLB seasons, this Houston Astros outfielder and DH has blossomed into one of the most feared power bats in the game. Over his first 284 career games, Alvarez has already bashed 83 home runs and driven in 230 runs, complemented by a .306 batting average.

The 25-year-old Cuban was named ALCS MVP in 2022 after nearly hitting for the playoff cycle, helping power Houston to another World Series appearance. Alvarez possesses incredible plate discipline for his age, with reasonable strikeout totals and plenty of walks.

Entering the prime of his career in 2024 at age 27, Alvarez has perennial Triple Crown potential if he can stay healthy. With his quiet dominance already reminding many of Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, 2024 could be the year Yordan Alvarez leads the majors in homers and lifts the World Series trophy for the Astros.

7. Erriyon Knighton (Track & Field)

Rising Sports Stars to Watch in 2024

Teen sprinting sensation Erriyon Knighton has taken the track world by storm, drawing comparisons to the legendary Usain Bolt. At just 18 years old, Knighton broken several U20 records while competing toe-to-toe with the best adult sprinters in the world.

During 2022 he set national high school records in the 200m at 20.11 seconds. He then shattered Usain Bolt’s U20 200m world record, running 19.49 seconds at the USA Outdoor Championships. Knighton went on take bronze at the World Championships that same year –as a 17-year-old high schooler!

Now as a professional with more strength training and technical development ahead, Knighton’s potential in the 200m and 400m appears unlimited. With improved starts and race management, he is set to compete for Olympic gold in 2024 and could even make a run at some of Bolt’s revered world records before he turns 20.

6. Paige Bueckers (College Basketball)

Connecticut Huskies basketball sensation Paige Bueckers instantly became the face of women’s college hoops. The shifty point guard turned in one of the all-time great freshman seasons in 2021, averaging 20 points and 5 assists on the way to consensus National Player of the Year honors.

But Bueckers suffered a cruel setback when an ACL tear knocked her out for the entire 2022 season. Now with a new knee and plenty of motivation, a hungry Bueckers will return to the floor in 2023-2024 seeking to reclaim her throne as the nation’s top player.

Bueckers has the entire offensive package – she’s a deadeye shooter with unlimited range, a crafty passer, and a true clutch performer. UConn will lean heavily on her leadership and shot creation as she guides a young roster.

Before inevitably going #1 in the 2024 WNBA draft, expect Paige Bueckers to recapture the college spotlight next year and cement her legacy as one of the greatest collegiate players ever.

5. Trevor Lawrence (Football)

Trevor Lawrence

Drafted 1st overall out of Clemson in 2021 as one of the most hyped QB prospects ever, Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars was rocky. He struggled with turnovers and posted just 12 TDs in 17 games.

But in 2022, Lawrence showed major strides in year two – cutting down mistakes and displaying the generational arm talent that made him an elite prospect. He doubled his TD passes to 25, reduced interceptions, and posted a 95.2 rating.

Entering 2023, the Jaguars have surrounded Lawrence with weapons like WR Christian Kirk, TE Evan Engram, and RB Travis Etienne. Combined with an ascending young defense, expectations are sky-high for Lawrence.

Now comfortable as the face of the franchise, 2024 could be the year Lawrence makes the statistical leap to a Pro Bowl level and leads the Jaguars on a playoff run. This former can’t-miss prospect may still develop into the next great NFL QB.

4. Carlos Alcaraz (Tennis)

At just 19 years old, this Spanish phenom emerged as tennis’ brightest rising star in 2022, capping the season by winning the US Open to capture his first Grand Slam singles title and the world #1 ranking.

With his athleticism, power, touch, and determination, Alcaraz has repeatedly defeated the best players in the world, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. His fluid movement and powerful groundstrokes already draw comparisons to Nadal.

But while breaking into the sport’s elite tier incredibly early, Alcaraz still must improve his conditioning and shot selection to stay there. If he develops a more aggressive first serve and more variety, 2024 may usher in the Alcaraz era of men’s tennis as he grabs more Slams from the aging Big Three.

3. Cade Cunningham (Basketball)

Cade Cunningham

A versatile 6’6″ point guard, Cade Cunningham lived up to his billing as the consensus #1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft during his rookie season with the Detroit Pistons. Cunningham immediately emerged as Detroit’s do-it-all offensive lynchpin, averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

With size and length that allows him to attack the rim or shoot over defenders, plus elite playmaking vision, Cunningham has already drawn comparisons to Luka Dončić and other large point guards dominating today’s NBA.

After showing steady improvement throughout his debut campaign, Cunningham now has a year of experience under his belt. As he refines his three-point shot and continues bulking up, the sky is the limit. Expect Cunningham to contend to make his first NBA All-Star team in 2024 as he guides Detroit’s rebuilding efforts.

2. Julio Rodriguez (Baseball)

Julio Rodriguez, the 21-year-old center fielder for the Seattle Mariners, has exploded onto the MLB scene faster than almost any rookie in recent memory. The odds-on favorite to win 2022 AL Rookie of the Year, Rodriguez batted .284 while blasting 28 home runs and swiping 25 bases as a 20-year-old.

The athletic Dominican phenom oozes five-tool potential from the right side of the plate and patrols the outfield with grace. He mixes lightning bat speed with emerging patience, walking at an above-average clip to supplement his extra-base power.

In just his first full season, Rodriguez posted an 8.6 WAR – a mark that, if sustained, would make him an annual MVP candidate. As he continues adjusting to big league pitching and develops further physically, Rodriguez is poised to blossom into one of baseball’s truly elite young superstars, making Seattle into a World Series contender along the way.

1. Victor Wembanyama (Basketball)

Victor Wembanyama

The French 19-year-old basketball phenom Victor Wembanyama has been hailed as an otherworldly talent and “alien” for years. Now eligible for the 2023 NBA Draft, the 7’2″ unicorn with a 7’9″ wingspan is considered a virtual lock to go #1 overall.

Wembanyama boasts incredible handles and shooting range for his size, draining threes effortlessly while also swatting shots on defense like Rudy Gobert. His fluid athleticism and coordination are unprecedented for someone so tall.

Against NBA competition on an exhibition tour in October 2022, Wembanyama shined while leading his French pro team to victories. He poured in 37 points against the G League Ignite and finished with more blocks than missed shots in both games.

2024 will be Wembanyama’s NBA debut. With franchise-altering two-way potential, expect this otherworldly prospect’s versatile, well-rounded contributions to immediately shake up the league upon arrival.


These young phenoms display both elite skill and professional maturity beyond their years. With athletic potential still untapped, they are poised for superstardom as they enter their physical primes in 2024. This next wave of talent will shape their sports’ landscapes for the decade to come – enjoy watching the ascent.

FAQs About Rising Sports Stars

How has the popularity of youth sports academies impacted the development of emerging star athletes?

Access to professional coaching and facilities from a very early age at academies allows promising prospects to maximize their talents. Opportunities arrive on the pro scene increasingly young and prepared.

What role do team dynamics play in allowing individual emerging stars to thrive?

Even individual sports stars need strong supporting casts and systems around them to excel. The right teammates, coach, franchise culture, and playing style optimize conditions for emerging talents.

How does expanding the international reach of sports identification and scouting impact competition?

Casting a wider global net increases overall talent pools as stars are found across more countries. This leads to rising international diversity as phenoms emerge worldwide, benefiting sport quality.

What can cause highly-touted emerging phenoms to fail to meet expectations and realize their full potential?

Career detailers include injuries, mental struggles, poor coaching fits, lack of work ethic, and personal issues off the field. Extreme hype also proves difficult to live up to. Patience and the right environment are key.

What skills beyond just athletic ability allow some prospects to leap to stardom?

Elite intangibles like leadership, coachability, clutch factor, and competitive drive separate good prospects from great ones. The next level combines physical gifts with work ethic, smarts, and the will to win.

How has the rise of sports media impacted the attention given to promising prospects?

Nonstop coverage, highlight reels, and draft hype cycles create pressure. But increased visibility also allows brands to market young stars early. Overall visibility has heightened dramatically.

Asmran Ahmad
Asmran Ahmad

Asmran Ahmad is founder of Foodyei.com. A passionate sports and esports enthusiast with a deep love for sharing knowledge. With years of experience in the industry, Asmran A. recognized the need for a comprehensive platform that caters to both sports and esports fans, offering them a one-stop destination for the latest information, analysis, and engaging content.

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