NBA players

From Basketball to Bibles: Ex-NBA Players Who Joined Jehovah’s Witnesses!

By: Matt

Picture this: The glaring lights of the NBA arenas, fans screaming, and the adrenaline of the game. Now, imagine choosing to leave all that excitement for a life of faith. This isn’t just a thought experiment; it’s a reality for a few remarkable ex-NBA players who decided to live as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The Core Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses

As a Jehovah’s Witness you have to prioritize spiritual over wordly activities, actively participate in evangelism, and strictly observe their interpretations of Biblical principles.

This can include avoiding national anthems or not celebrating birthdays, which are standard in many sports settings Understanding this might help us see why some choices might seem radical to those outside the faith.

The Faithful Few: Ex-NBA Players’ Stories

Darren Collison: Choosing Faith Over Fast Breaks

Darren Collison: Choosing Faith Over Fast Breaks

J R, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Darren Collison’s NBA journey began with high expectations after a stellar collegiate career at UCLA. Known for his speed and playmaking abilities, Collison quickly made a name for himself as a reliable point guard.

Throughout his professional career, he played for several teams, including the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, where he showcased his skills as both a scorer and a facilitator.

Decision to Retire At the age of 31, at what many would consider the height of his career, Collison made the surprising decision to retire from the NBA. This move was primarily driven by his desire to focus on his faith and his family.

Collison’s choice was a profound statement in the sports world, where such early retirements are rare. His departure from the NBA allowed him to dedicate more time to his religious activities and community service, demonstrating the depth of his commitment to his beliefs.

Danny Granger: The Intersection of Injury and Insight

By Ron_Artest_2005.jpg: Willie Starkderivative work: Arbor to SJ – This file was derived from: Ron Artest 2005.jpg:, CC BY-SA 2.0,

NBA Achievements and Challenges Danny Granger was once the face of the Indiana Pacers, known for his scoring ability and versatility on the court.

His career, however, was significantly hampered by injuries that curtailed his time in the spotlight. Despite these setbacks, Granger was a beacon of professionalism and remained an influential figure in the locker room.

Faith Amid Adversity Granger’s journey as a Jehovah’s Witness provided him with a framework to cope with his professional challenges. His faith offered a source of strength and resilience, helping him to navigate the uncertainties of injury recoveries and career transitions.

Even as he dealt with physical setbacks, his spiritual life remained a constant, providing stability and perspective that were invaluable during his rehabilitation and eventual move away from professional basketball.

Dewayne Dedmon: A Giant in Both Arenas

Dewayne Dedmon

By James Santelli, –, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Dewayne Dedmon’s career is a testament to hard work and perseverance. Entering the NBA as an undrafted player, Dedmon used his height and defensive prowess to carve out a niche for himself across several teams, including the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks.

His journey through the NBA showcased his development from a raw talent to a respected role player, known for his rebounding and shot-blocking skills.

As a Jehovah’s Witness, Dedmon faced unique challenges in balancing his professional obligations with his religious commitments. This balance often meant making personal sacrifices, such as missing certain team events that conflicted with his faith’s practices.

Despite these challenges, Dedmon remained committed to his beliefs, which shaped his interactions with teammates and his approach to his career and life after basketball.

Navigating Challenges: Faith on the Court

Imagine having to skip team celebrations or having to explain why you won’t toast a championship victory. For these players, such scenarios are part of their reality, presenting unique challenges that test their resolve and commitment to their beliefs.

Leadership Off the Court: Life After the NBA

Post-retirement, the true leadership of these athletes shines as they often engage more deeply with their faith communities. Whether it’s volunteering, participating in community outreach, or simply being a role model, their careers continue beyond the court in meaningful ways.

Conclusion: A Game of Faith

The stories of these ex-NBA Jehovah’s Witnesses remind us that behind the high-flying dunks and intense games are individuals navigating complex personal identities. Their journey enriches our understanding of diversity within professional sports, highlighting that every player has more to offer than just their athletic prowess.