As a child, most of us were hammered in the thought: “Without education, nothing can be achieved in life.” It would seem that the NBA players are a prime example of an erroneous judgment. Some basketball players manage to “knock down” tens of millions, without much school at all. Nevertheless, sports can be cruel unto itself. One unsuccessful collision or one disastrous season – and all the money can be gone in an instant. Therefore, a backup plan is always a good idea. Championship.com brings you a list of the league’s most forward-thinking representatives.
- DIKEMBE MUTOMBO
One of the best NBA centers of the 90s came to America to study at the university, from which Bill Clinton graduated with almost no command of English. Also, Dikembe set out to become a doctor. Well, in 1991 he graduated from Georgetown with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and diplomacy. And, of course, the language barrier does not interfere now – Dikembe can freely express himself in as many as nine languages. At the end of his career, he again took up his education, and in 2010 he was awarded a doctorate at the same Georgetown University. Now he speaks 9 languages (5 of them are African dialects) and is actively involved in charitable activities. Mutombo has founded his charitable foundation that helps his native people and hometown.
- CHRIS DUDLEY
Most people know him as the first NBA player with diabetes and one of the worst free-throw stretches in NBA history, but in fact, there is more behind the figure of Dudley, if only because he graduated from the prestigious Yale University with two degrees: political and economic sciences. After completing a career in the NBA, Dudley becomes vice president of an asset management firm and then partners with FiligreeAdvisors, a financial advisory firm. Successful in politics, he was elected governor of Oregon in 2010, but lost with 48% of the vote, against 49% of the opponent.
- CHRIS BOSH
In high school, in addition to the basketball team, Bosh was a member of the Wizkids, a computer club specializing in graphic design. Enrolling at Georgia Tech in the same graphic design and management department, he began performing for the Yellow Jackets, where he quickly earned the fame of one of the most talented young players in the NCAA. Chris went to Georgia Tech for only one year, and then moved on to the NBA. All his plans and hopes he highlighted in Wired magazine, one of the largest publications writing about computer technology and its impact on society.
- PAU GASOL
Pau was born and raised in Spain to a family of doctors. His mother was a doctor, his father was a senior nurse, so it came as no surprise to anyone that Gasol ended up going to medical school, while playing for Barcelona. He never finished medical school, he was too good at basketball, but he still spends a lot of his free time in hospitals, mainly in children, helping children to feel more confident and calm, and talking with doctors about their hard work.
- JEREMY LIN
After graduating from high school with an GPA of 4.2, he sent out his resume to the most prestigious universities in the world, and eventually entered Harvard, where he received higher education in economics and a place on the team. Lin became the first player in Ivy League history to score more than 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists, and 200 steals. After that, many NBA clubs became interested in him, and despite some difficulties, Jeremy eventually achieved success in the league and became the first Harvard graduate since Ed Smith (1954), who managed to get into the best basketball league in the world.
- TOM MCMILLEN
Probably the least known basketball player on this list, notable not for his “outstanding” career. On average, he scored 8.1 points in his career, took 4.1 rebounds, and played for four different teams in 13 seasons. After completing his career, Tom moved into politics and succeeded there, becoming a member of the US House of Representatives. In 2011, he was named chairman of the board of directors of the President’s Sports, Fitness, and Sports Nutrition Foundation. McMillen also wrote a book in which he carefully examined the connection between sports and ethics.
- KYLE O’QUINN
New York-born Kyle O’Quinn went to Norfolk State University. Afterwards, Kyle turned professional without graduating from university, he made a promise to his parents that he would graduate and receive a diploma. Recall that O’Quinn spent four seasons with the Norfolk State University basketball team, where he scored 12.3 points (16.4 in his best year), and 8.4 rebounds (11.1) on average per game.
- JERRY LUCAS
He has developed many different brain games and lessons to improve memory. All his acquaintances were amazed at how easily he could operate with numbers. He even had a television show called The Jerry Lucas Super Kids Day Magic Jamboree, where he performed various educational word games, number riddles, and other “magic” tricks as Luke the Magician. In the early 1970s, he decided to test his memory when he appeared on television and wowed a national audience with his ability, he memorized the first 500 pages of the Manhattan telephone directory.
- BILL BRADLEY
Perhaps the most outstanding example of education in NBA history is 70s Knicks forward Bill Bradley, who graduated with honors from Princeton, won a Rhodes scholarship and studied at Oxford for two years, and after retiring from his sports career became a senator and ran for the post of US President from the Democrats (lost the primaries to Al Gore). None of the above are striking as the standard of the “smart” player, but Bill Bradley, after all, became a member of the Hall of Fame and two-time champion of the New York Knicks coached by Red Holtzman.
- DAVID ROBINSON
Robinson’s intelligence and good manners did not allow him to step into the cohort of the greatest players who became NBA champions in the status of the single best players on the team. Robinson was TOO smart – passed the SAT at 1310, served in the Navy, was an exemplary citizen, a deeply religious person, and a real gentleman. Robinson not only as a player but also as a person was and remains an example to follow.