Forbes Sports Stars

Two Houston sports stars with big personalities make Forbes 30 under 30 list

Houston sports stars with big personalities on Forbes 30 under 30 list

7 Texans vs. Bengals first half November 2014 J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
James Harden Thunder
James "The Beard" Harden. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
7 Texans vs. Bengals first half November 2014 J.J. Watt
James Harden Thunder

Two Houston sports stars shine off the court and field as stars in Forbes.com's annual "30 under 30" list of 600 game changers ages 30 and younger in 20 categories, ranging from science and finance to media and entertainment.

Rockets guard James "The Beard" Harden and Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt represent Houston athletes in the sports category.

Of the 25-year-old Rockets star, the editors at Forbes write:

Harden is one of the league's most likeable - and marketable - players, complete with prodigious facial hair and a quirky fashion sense. His on-court talent earned him a five-year, $80 million contract extension in 2012, while his off-court charisma has led to endorsements with Nike, Foot Locker and sports drink company BodyArmor."

"Sometimes you’re just born and gifted with something," Harden told Forbes of his eccentricities. "The beard, the mohawk, the way I dress, it’s just instilled in me."

In four seasons with the Texans, Watt has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice and was named the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year.

"By all appearances, he'll be adding one more of each in 2015," Forbes says. "Watt's play has been so dominant, in fact, that in September 2014 Houston inked him to a six-year, $100 million extension, a record deal for a defensive player."

Harden and Watt appear to be the only Houstonians named to the "30 under 30" list. In contrast, 11 Austinites made the cut on this year's prestigious register, with three individuals named for accomplishments in games; two in energy, manufacturing and consumer tech; one in technology; and one in the food and drink category.

For the past four years, Forbes has been honoring the young movers and shakers across the world with its "30 Under 30 list."