Not many people are aware but a few ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s witnesses. In recent times, there are tons of people searching for basketball players that are Jehovah’s witnesses. It is a known fact that players from different regions, religions, and races put their everything to make it into one of the biggest sports leagues in the world i.e., the NBA.
Hence, it is quite common to know a few ex-NBA players are indeed Jehovah’s witnesses. Moving further in the article, you will be finding out exactly how many ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s witnesses. Before that, let’s understand who Jehovah’s witnesses actually are.
As per Wikipedia, these are those people who are a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs that are usually quite discrete from conventional Christianity. It first originated in the decade of 1870s. At the current time, it has almost 120,000 congregations with over 8.5 million people being its members.
As a matter of fact, a good number of athletes are its members as well. In fact, players outside of basketball sport are also Jehovah’s witnesses. For example, Serena Williams (tennis), Lou Whitaker (baseball), and Dave Pear (football) are a few such athletes. Now, let’s head on to a list of basketball players.
Ex-NBA Players Are Jehovah’s Witnesses
Darren Collison is the first NBA player that is a Jehovah’s witness on this list. He was born on 23 August 1987 in California, USA. The 35-year-old basketball player has been crazy about this game since his high school days. He was a part of the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team while he studied at that game. His position was the point guard.
After his graduation in 2009, he was picked by the New Orleans Hornets in round one of the NBA draft. In his debut season, he became the starting point guard for the team. While he was with the team for around a year, he broke his own record with 20 assists in a single game.
Before playing for Dallas Mavericks, he was traded by the Hornets to the Indiana Pacers where he stayed for two years (2010-2012). As Jason Kidd left the team at that time, he became the starting point guard. However, he eventually got replaced by Derek Fisher after he missed a few games due to sprained finger.
Before signing a $16 million three-year deal with Sacramento Kings, he played for Los Angeles Clippers during 2013-2014. He showed his prime performances but he rejoined Indiana in 2017. After playing two seasons, he announced his retirement in 2019 citing religious reasons. In fact, he also told that his love for his family and his faith is higher than his love for basketball.
In December 2021, he came back from retirement and signed a ten-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers where he only played three games before the contract expired. Later in March of 2022, he signed another contract with the South Bay Lakers but is yet to play a single game to date.
Willie Wise is the oldest NBA player that is a Jehovah’s witness in this list. He was born on 3 March 1947 in San Francisco, CA, USA. The 75-year-old player is an ABA player but we can consider him to a NBA player as the two basketball players were merged in the year 1976.
He played in the position of small forward. While he was at Drake University, he played for his college team which eventually got him into American Basketball Association (ABA). He made his debut in 1969 for the team Los Angeles/Utah Stars. As per Wikipedia, he was selected by the San Francisco Warriors in the 5th round of NBA draft.
During his almost one decade professional career, he played various teams namely Los Angeles / Utah Stars (1969-1974), Virginia Squires (1974-1976), Denver Nuggets (1976-1977), and Seattle SuperSonics (1977) respectively. Though he had a potential to play profession basketball for a few more years, he was forced to retire after a knee injury that ended his career. According to Ranker, he considered becoming a Jehovah’s Witness before making to ABA (now NBA).
Dewayne Dedmon was born on 12 August 1989 in Lancaster, CA, USA. The 33-year-old NBA player is known for playing in center position. Growing up, he played lots of basketball and wanted to become a professional player as well. However, his mother insisted him to not play the sport as she thought it would have an impact on his religious beliefs.
Regardless, he still managed to play the game and was even part of his school team. While he attended University of Southern California, he played for the college team USC Trojans. After his incredible performances during for his college team, he made it to the NBA draft in 2013. Unfortunately, he was left undrafted but was eventually picked up Miami Heat for Orlanda Summer League.
Before signing with Golden State Warriors, he played for Dallas Mavericks for the Las Vegas Summer League. To date, he has played for various NBA teams such as Philadelphia 76ers (2014), Orlando Magic (2014-2016), San Antonio Spurs (2016-2017), Atlanta Hawks (2017-2019 & 2020), Sacramento Kings (2019-2020) and finally settled with Miami Heat. After signing signing twice with the team 2021, he again signed a $9 million two year contract in July 2022. Unlike other players in the list, he is the only player that isn’t retired at least once.
Danny Granger is a tall basketball player just like Dedmon. He was born on 20 April 1983 in New Orleans, LA, USA. Just like every other player in the list, the 39-year-old player also began playing basketball for his high school team. He graduated from Grace King High School and then went to play for the college teams Bradley Braves (2001-2003) and New Mexico Lobos (2003-2005).
After being drafted in the NBA draft, he became 17th overall player to picked up in the round one by the Indiana Pacers. Just like Willie, his position was also small forward. During his nine year stay with Pacers, he played almost 550 games for the team. In fact, he signed a five year contract with them in 2008 that was worth around $60 million. However, he was eventually traded to Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 after he missed a lots of games due to left knee tendinosis.
However, he moved to Miami Heat just after a few months in July 2014. The next year, he was traded to the Pheonix Suns and later Detroit Pistons. However, he wasn’t able to play a lot of games due to his injury. Eventually, he announced his retirement after he was waived by Pistons.
Sam Perkins is also a former basketball player that is a Jehovah’s Witness. Apart from being a professional player, he also also an executive. He plays in the position of power forward and center. He initially began playing for school team and was later a part of North Carolina Tar Heels while attended University of North Carolina.
Perkins was the fourth overall player to be picked up in the round one by the Dallas Mavericks at NBA draft in 1984. After playing with the team for six seasons, he moved to Los Angeles Lakers in 1990. During the three seasons, he played around 190 games for Lakers. He then went on to play for Seattle SuperSonics six seasons during the years 1993-1998.
Before announcing his retirement in 2001, he was signed with Indiana Pacers for three seasons from 1998-2001. Out of three seasons, he didn’t start a game at least one in two seasons. As he was a Jehovah’s Witness, he never stood up during the country’s national anthem. Make sure to read about Tristan Jass Height, Age, Girlfriend, Net Worth, Wiki, Bio & More.
Dave Meyers is the second oldest player in the list after Wise. He was born on 21 April 1953 but was deceased on 9 October 2015 due to cancer. When he played for his high school basketball team. he averaged 22.7 points per game. While he was at college, he played for ULCA Bruins from 1972 to 1975. He became an NBA player even before it was merged with ABA.
After being drafted in 1974, he became the second overall player to be selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in round one. However, he was eventually traded by the team to Milwaukee Bucks in less than three weeks. In his short five year career, he played four seasons for Bucks.
After playing a little over 200 games in three seasons, he missed the entire 1978-79 seasons as he suffered from a back injury. After his return for the next season, he played 79 games throughout that season. Suprisingly, he announced retirement and mentioned his religious faith as the reason for this decision.
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