At age 49 of hypertensive cardiovascular disease, Quintin Dailey (above). A gifted 6'3" guard, Dailey was twice named West Coast Conference player of the year at San Francisco, where as a junior in 1981--82 he scored a school-record 25.2 points a game. Professionally, the Bulls' first pick in '82 averaged 14.1 ppg over 10 seasons, his best year coming in '85--86 alongside second-year man Michael Jordan. But Dailey drew equal attention for the trouble he stirred up off the court. In college he admitted to taking money from a booster and to sexually assaulting a female student (the combination of which proved too much for USF, which shut down its hoops program for three years). In the pros he twice violated the league's drug policy. After retiring in '92, Dailey did his best to make up for his ways, mentoring underprivileged youths at Las Vegas rec centers. There, where he was known as just "Q," he pushed his pupils not to repeat his own mistakes.
By 11-time X Games gold medalist Travis Pastrana, that in 2011 he will compete in at least seven races in the Nationwide Series—the Triple A of NASCAR—and that he could be racing in the big leagues by '13. One of the top supercross and motocross riders of all time, Pastrana, 27, enters a partnership with two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip to pilot a Toyota for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. A four-time Rally Car champ who has also set numerous motorcycle and automobile jump records, Pastrana still needs to be cleared by NASCAR, but that shouldn't prove to be much of a hurdle. With TV ratings and attendance figures flagging, the hope among NASCAR officials is that Pastrana, who stars in the MTV show Nitro Circus, can lure young fans to the sport.
To 30 years in prison after being convicted of criminal sexual conduct and burglary, former NFL running back Dave Meggett, who played for the Giants, Patriots and Jets, amassing 284 all-purpose yards in two Super Bowls. According to prosecutors in South Carolina, Meggett, 44, attacked and raped a college student in North Charleston, near where he grew up, as a means of collecting on a debt that the victim owed him. (Meggett's attorneys argued the sex was consensual.) On Nov. 10 a Charleston jury found Meggett guilty after a trial in which his past transgressions played a large part: In 1998 he was arrested for allegedly assaulting an escort (that trial ended in a hung jury), and in 2007 he served two years' probation after being convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery.
With malaria, Chelsea's Didier Drogba (above), who has twice won the English Premier League's Golden Boot. The 32-year-old striker, who hails from and often visits the Ivory Coast in sub-Saharan Africa, where the mosquito-borne disease is most prominent, had netted six goals in his first seven appearances of 2010--11 when he began suffering fevers last month. He scored just once in his next four games and, after being withheld with another high temperature from the first half of a Nov. 7 loss to Liverpool, Drogba underwent blood tests that revealed that he'd been afflicted for roughly a month. Drogba, who in May was named one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for his African relief work, is expected to recover fully with medication.
As the youngest world champion in Formula One history, Sebastian Vettel of Germany. With his victory in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver, at 23 years and four months, eclipsed by six months the mark of 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain. Vettel started the final race of the '10 season, held under the lights on the Yas Marina Circuit, 15 points behind two-time champ Fernando Alonso of Spain. But an ill-advised early pit stop stifled Alonso, who finished in seventh place, while Vettel crossed the line 10.1 seconds up on Hamilton to clinch the title and sew up Red Bull's first manufacturer's championship, in the team's sixth F/1 season.