Courtesy of University of Miami

The Miami Hurricanes had an up-and-down season last year, and many of the downs can be traced to one incident: the loss of Bruce Brown to a foot injury in late January. Up to that point, Brown had been a beast on the field. He led the team in rebounds per game (7.1), assists per game (4), and steals per game (1.3) while clocking in second on the team in points per game (11.4). Soon after the season ended, Brown declared he was ready for the NBA and decided to forgo his final two years at Miami to become eligible for the draft. But Brown's season (albeit abbreviated) and the Hurricanes' success before his injury and after his recovery are testaments to his talent and indicators of his potential for greatness on the professional circuit.

Photo by CornFarmer / Flickr

He's the last man standing after a year of painful trades and new ownership for the Miami Marlins. First baseman Justin Bour, along with catcher J.T. Realmuto, now lead the team in tenure, and Bour has risen to the task of elevating a sorely depleted team. He played his greatest season as a pro in his fourth season with the Marlins, when he hit 25 home runs and 83 RBI to go with a .289 average. If the Marlins are to be competitive this season, Bour must outperform those numbers. But with few stars left to latch onto, Marlins fans have rejoiced in the fact that Bour stuck around to see the rebuild through. With young stars coming down the pipeline, he'll be tasked with leading the team for the foreseeable future.

Photo by Eliot K. Schechter / NHLI via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers are loaded with young talent, but their best player is a future Hall of Fame goaltender who'll turn 40 next season. Roberto Luongo is more than just a clutch net-minder; he's the heart and soul of the Panthers franchise. On a team otherwise in flux, his steady hand in the net and calming veteran influence in the locker room have been driving forces behind the maturation of players such as Aaron Ekblad. Luongo has been there to balance the emotions of a team that has a tendency to oscillate violently between winning and losing streaks.

Courtesy of University of Miami

Clemson had just scored its third touchdown of the first quarter when furious orange-and-green-clad fanatics began streaming out of Sun Life Stadium. By the end of the game, only a few hundred spectators were left in the cavernous stadium to witness coach Al Golden's Hurricanes capitulate 58-0. That was October 2015. Fast-forward two years later, and everything has changed. Sun Life is now Hard Rock Stadium, Mark Richt has taken the coaching reins, and the University of Miami's fans are the loudest in the nation, packed by the tens of thousands into the stadium, rocking golden Turnover Chains around their necks. In just his second season, Richt led the Canes to a 10-3 regular-season record and a berth in the ACC title game. Most important, he reminded UM fans how to bring swagger back into the stands.

Sportscasters are almost part of our families. They are the voices we let into our homes multiple times a week and sometimes yell at in isolation. Award-winning Miami Heat TV analyst Eric Reid has millions of extended family members throughout South Florida, most recently through his work for Fox Sports Sun. From his signature "Kaboom!" call after a Heat player drains a three-point shot, to his elegant storytelling, Reid has been the perfect person for the Heat's sportscaster spot since the franchise's inception in 1988. He's fair to the opponents yet favorable enough to the Heat that you're constantly reminded he's rooting for the home team.

Photo by B137

You'd be hard-pressed to make a case for a sports franchise owner that has done more for his city than Miami Heat owner Micky Arison. In the mid- '90s, Arison's first order of business was to hire Pat Riley away from the New York Knicks and give him full control of player-personnel decisions. That move has continued to pay dividends for the past three decades. Arison is everything you'd want in a sports owner: He's supportive, kind, and unintrusive, yet competitive. For years, Heat fans have implored him to buy the Dolphins, the Marlins, or both because he's done such a great job running the hometown basketball team. Fans are willing to hand him the keys to any athletic organization.

Courtesy of the GMCVB

The Miami Marlins are having a tough year. OK, fine, they're having a tough decade, but that's not what's important here. What's important is that the Marlins play in one of the most beautiful ballparks in Major League Baseball, and taking a kid to watch a game there always makes for a fun outing. When it comes to game-day excitement for a child, it's not always about winning. For the younger set, food choices — such as the park's many burger options, Papa John's pizza, and bread from Zak the Baker — take precedence over plays or points on the scoreboard. And the stadium's open design makes it easy to grab a bite and walk around without missing a single pitch.

Courtesy of the Biltmore

Fancy golf courses are typically inaccessible to the average joe, but the Biltmore hotel's course makes the game accessible to locals. Designed in 1925 by legendary course architect Donald Ross, Biltmore Golf is home to the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship and the University of Miami Women's Golf Team. And it can be your golfing home too, with discounted rates for Coral Gables and county residents, as well as hotel guests. Though 18 holes on a weekend or holiday can run $100 to $202 during the peak of winter, nine holes in an evening can cost as little as $40 for Coral Gables residents or $73 for visiting guests. The Biltmore's practice facilities boast more than 22,000 square feet of paspalum grass and 27 artificial-turf hitting surfaces, so this is a great spot to get in some practice before you take mulligans galore.

Courtesy of City of Miami

Dinner Key Marina offers a glimpse into Miami's past, present, and future all at once. Dinner Key is the famed former home of Pan American Airways' flying boats, and the defunct air carrier's old terminal building now serves as Miami City Hall, the focal point of the lush marina grounds. In its modern incarnation, the marina sits adjacent to Regatta Park, a stone's throw from Villa Vizcaya and a short walk to the shops and boutiques of Coconut Grove's village center. For the boaters and yachties out there, the marina boasts a whopping 582 slips, 24-hour staff and security, concrete docks, and wooden finger piers. Locals and casual boaters can also rent pontoons and kayaks for hours at a time. This is a great spot to anchor down for a while.

Courtesy of Florida State Parks

Oleta River State Park, Florida's largest urban park, boasts 14 cabins equipped with air conditioning, beds, picnic tables, and covered porches, and bathrooms and showers are located nearby. Glampers can also find a fire pit and grill included with their amenities. Cabin rentals cost only $55 per night, plus tax and a $6.70 reservation fee. Camp with friends and explore the waters of Biscayne Bay by canoe or kayak, or go for a bike ride around the campgrounds. This slice of paradise is a safe haven for those in search of complete seclusion and a reprieve from the clamor of the city just a handful of miles away. While you're there, remember to respect the park's wildlife. If you leave your Cheetos outside after a drunken binge, you will find raccoons with orange fingers.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®