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How many ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses? Intersection of Faith and Basketball




How many ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses Intersection of Faith and Basketball

In the high-stakes world of the NBA, players come from diverse backgrounds, bringing their unique talents, stories, and beliefs onto the court. Among these are individuals whose commitment extends beyond basketball, into the world of personal faith. Interestingly, a small number of former NBA players share a particular spiritual path as Jehovah’s Witnesses, a faith known for its distinctive practices and beliefs. This article delves into who these individuals are, their journeys within the NBA, and how their faith has played a role in their lives.

Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA

Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination founded in the late 19th century, is known for its door-to-door evangelism and a strong commitment to living according to the teachings of the Bible. For athletes in the spotlight, like NBA players, balancing the demands of professional sports with religious commitments presents unique challenges and opportunities.

The Faithful Few: Ex-NBA Players Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses

Recent discussions, sparked by comedian Brittany Schmitt’s stand-up act about an unnamed ex-NBA player turned Jehovah’s Witness, have brought attention to the presence of this faith within the league. While Schmitt’s act was light-hearted, it raised a curious question: How many ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Research reveals that there are indeed former NBA players who have openly identified as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Notably, Dewayne Dedmon of the Miami Heat, along with former Indiana Pacers teammates Danny Granger and Darren Collison, are mentioned. These players have navigated their careers and personal lives with their faith as a guiding principle.

The Intersection of Faith and Basketball

The NBA has seen its share of players who not only excel on the court but also live out their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. These players have navigated the demands of their professional careers while staying true to their religious convictions, often facing unique challenges along the way.

Who Are These Players?

The NBA has seen its share of players who are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, though they are few. Comedian Brittany Schmitt’s viral bit about an unnamed ex-NBA player turning Jehovah’s Witness piqued curiosity, pointing to a narrow list of possible identities given the rarity of such transitions in the league.

1. A.C. Green

A.C. Green - NBA player Jehovah Witness

A.C. Green, renowned for his resilience and performance on the court, is one of the most celebrated Jehovah’s Witnesses in NBA history. His faith played a significant role in his life, influencing his decision to remain celibate until marriage. Green’s commitment to his beliefs and lifestyle choices has been an inspiration to many, showcasing how one can balance professional success with personal convictions.

2. Danny Granger

Danny Granger - NBA player Jehovah Witness

Danny Granger, known for his time with the Indiana Pacers, is another player who has kept his faith at the forefront throughout his career. Raised in a Christian family, Granger’s spiritual journey led him to Jehovah’s Witnesses, where he found a community that shared his values. His baptism post-retirement marks a significant milestone in his spiritual life, reflecting his dedication to his faith beyond his basketball career.

3. Darren Collison

Darren Collison - ex-NBA player who are Jehovah Witnesses

Darren Collison made headlines when he chose to retire at the peak of his career to focus on his faith and family. Raised in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Collison’s decision underscores the importance of spirituality in his life, illustrating the profound impact of faith on personal and professional decisions.

4. Dewayne Dedmon

Dewayne Dedmon - ex-NBA player who are Jehovah Witnesses

Dewayne Dedmon‘s journey into basketball is a testament to overcoming obstacles for one’s beliefs. Growing up in a Jehovah’s Witness household, Dedmon faced restrictions on participating in sports. His perseverance and commitment to his faith and dreams have been commendable, showcasing the balancing act between adhering to religious beliefs and pursuing a career in sports.


Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA? Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA include A.C. Green, Danny Granger, Darren Collison, and Dewayne Dedmon, among others, who have balanced their professional careers with their spiritual lives.

What is a Jehovah’s Witness? Jehovah’s Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement that emphasizes living according to the teachings of the Bible, engaging in evangelism, and anticipating the Kingdom of God on Earth.

How does being a Jehovah’s Witness affect an NBA player’s career? Being a Jehovah’s Witness can pose unique challenges for NBA players, from balancing the demands of their profession with their religious activities to making personal life choices that align with their beliefs.

Are there current NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses? As of the latest information, players like Darren Collison have been known to return to professional basketball after initially retiring for religious reasons. However, the number of current players openly practicing as Jehovah’s Witnesses is limited.

Can Jehovah’s Witnesses participate in professional sports? Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses can participate in professional sports. While they may face challenges reconciling their professional obligations with their religious practices, many have successfully managed to do so.

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