If we had sat down back on January 1 and tried to predict which athletes would have a huge year in 2014, there's a good chance that we wouldn't have been able to do it. Sure, it would have been easy to guess that guys like LeBron James and Peyton Manning would have excelled in their respective sports. But who would have guessed that Kawhi Leonard—who wasn’t even named a 2014 NBA All-Star—would end up winning the Finals MVP award while helping San Antonio knock off LeBron and the Heat en route to an NBA title? No one.

That's what is so great about sports, though. They're unpredictable and when you least expect it, a sports star is unleashed. So with that in mind, we decided to put together a collection of athletes who rose to the occasion in 2014. We've left off a lot of the really obvious choices like LeBron and Peyton. But even without those guys, this list still has plenty of star power. These are the 10 Athletes Who Took Over in 2014.