The stories of extraordinary athleticism, tough competition, and inspirational life stories in the world of professional sports frequently enthrall us. Some of the many athletes who have played on NBA courts throughout the years have discovered comfort, meaning, and camaraderie in their religious convictions.
One such religion that has caught the interest of a few former NBA players is the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. This article will examine NBA players who have been Jehovah’s Witnesses or who have declared themselves to be such, putting light on their experiences and the effects of their faith on their lives.
Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
The Christian sect known as Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded in the 1870s. Members of the Christian sect are noted for their unique beliefs and ways of life.
A small percentage of Christians who have slightly different views are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to the Pew Research Center, only 0.8% of people in the United States of America identify as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It will have over 100,000 congregations in 2022; many adherents will be well-known athletic endeavors. Members of the NBA have identified with this group throughout its existence, and one player even retired to concentrate on his health.
Rules and Regulations
Below are some rules and regulations Jehovah’s Witnesses has to follow;
- No participation in ecumenical and interfaith activities.
- Abstain from celebrating religious holidays.
- Reject any customs they claim have pagin origins.
- Can’t work in industries associated with the military.
How many Ex NBA Players Belong to the Jehovah’s Witnesses?
In the NBA, the number is much smaller, with only three players openly declaring that they are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
1. Danny Granger
Danny Granger was a great small-forward basketball player who played in the NBA from 2005 until 2015. He spent most of his career with the Indiana Pacers and was an All-Star in 2009. Granger was well known for his philanthropic efforts in Haiti, his advocacy of mental health awareness, and his work on the court. He spent his early years visiting Kingdom Halls with his family since they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
You know I love the kids!! https://t.co/zPjGZA5lJT
— Danny Granger (@dgranger33) June 27, 2016
During an interview, he asserted that his religion has given him the strength to manage the pressures of being a professional athlete.
2. Darren Collison
Darren Collison played in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings throughout his career, from 2009 to 2019.
At the age of 31, Collison unexpectedly announced his retirement from the NBA, citing spiritual reasons. During an interview, he emphasized his religion’s significance and wanted to prioritize his family and charitable endeavors.
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Collison made a statement that “I still love basketball,” “but I know my family and my faith are more significant.” I am a Jehovah’s Witness and place a high value on my faith. I am delighted when I volunteer to help others and take part in a global ministry. I’ve never felt such bliss.
3. Dewayne Dedmon
Dewayne Dedmon was a member of many NBA teams, such as the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, and Sacramento Kings. Due to limitations imposed on him by his mother because of his faith, he didn’t start playing high school basketball until his last year.
His mother was against his doing sports since she was a Jehovah’s Witness. Dedmon was steadfast in his commitment to playing basketball for enjoyment and developing his skills. His outstanding performance during his final year of high school led the USC Trojans men’s basketball team to sign him.
After college, he was not selected, but the Golden State Warriors eventually signed him in 2013. Dedmon previously said that his religious beliefs helped him overcome the obstacles he faced at the start of his basketball career.
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My faith has helped me endure a lot of difficulty in my life, Dedmon said in an interview. He said it has assisted me in keeping my cool and my attitude in challenging situations.
What are the Challenges and Benefits that NBA Players Who are Jehovah’s Witnesses Face:-
It might provide unique difficulties for NBA players. Certain facets of the professional athlete lifestyle, including serving in the military, celebrating holidays, and participating in activities frequently connected to fame and fortune, may contradict the religion’s rigorous code of ethics.
Some players, though, have discovered tremendous advantages in their beliefs. It may offer a feeling of direction that extends beyond the basketball floor and a solid network of believers to lean on. The players may learn to handle the highs and lows of their careers by using the faith’s emphasis on the virtues of humanity, discipline, and community.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are there in the NBA?
There are three NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses: Dewayne Dedmon, Danny Granger, and Darren Collison.
2. Is Jehovah the name of a God?
Yes, Jehovah is the name of a God. But they never say his name.
3. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Increasing or Decreasing?
On the global scale, they have sustained an extraordinary rate of growth of 5% per year.
An exciting examination of personal beliefs and how they affect an athlete’s life and career may be found at the junction of religion and professional sports. Despite having only three ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, their experiences provide us with an extraordinary insight into the variety of pathways that other athletes might choose.
These people offer perception into the intricate path of personal belief and the multidimensional world of professional basketball, whether dealing with difficulties or finding comfort in their religion.