The reality of life and death is that you never know when your time may be coming. For these 20 athletes, their lives ended too soon, leaving sports fans to ask the question, "What could have been?"

Sean Taylor (pictured) played in two pro bowls with the Washington Redskins. During his brief NFL career, the Safety was known for his hard hits and aggressive defense. In November of the 2007 season, a burglar entered Taylor's home, shooting him in the leg. Taylor was struck in the femoral artery, passing away the next day due to a significant loss of blood.

Other athletes like Angels ace Nick Adenhart was tragically killed by a drunk driver. Some, like Celtics All-Star Reggie Lewis and Loyola Marymount's Hank Gathers, died of abnormal heart conditions. And yet others died while performing the sport, like NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Unfortunately, there are many occasions of athletes in their prime passing away. has put together a list 20. Click here to reminisce about what could have been.