A year ago, Russell Wilson was a short quarterback preparing for the Rose Bowl, Eddie Johnson hadn't played soccer for an American team...

A year ago, Russell Wilson was a short quarterback preparing for the Rose Bowl, Eddie Johnson hadn’t played soccer for an American team in about five years, and Chris Hansen was just another hedge-fund manager. What a difference a year makes. The trio took center stage early last year and helped become three of the bigger sports stories in our region.

Wilson, a third-round choice in April’s NFL draft because he’s 5 feet 10 (and change), grew into the starting quarterback who led the Seahawks into the playoffs. Johnson signed with Sounders FC in February and became a scoring machine. And Hansen emerged the same month with money and a plan to build an arena that could bring back the NBA — and the NHL.

They are three of the 12 people The Seattle Times profiles as we look back at our year in sports. They join Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez, Olympic gold medalists Nathan Adrian, Sue Bird and Hope Solo, Cougars coach Mike Leach, former Huskies Chris Polk and Terrence Ross, Skyline High quarterback Max Browne and Seahawks receiver Golden Tate.