The most famous basketball league in the world consist of individual from diverse nationalities, races, religions, and even sexualities. According to google search, there are actually three current and ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses; Dewayne Dedmon (currently of the Miami Heat), former Indiana Pacers’ teammates Danny Granger and Darren Collison.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have an active presence in most countries, but do not form a large part of the population of any country. For 2022, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported approximately 8.5 million publishers—the term they use for members actively involved in preaching—in about 118,000 congregations.
Some members of the NBA also belonged to this denomination and one player has even retired to focus on his health. Here in this article, I will talk about the 3 NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
NBA players Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses
1. Darren Collison
Darren Collison was born in Rancho Cucamonga, California, to his parents Dennis and June Griffith, who were both elite track and field athletes for Guyana. As a senior at Etiwanda High School under coach Dave Kleckner, Collison was named a fourth-team Parade All-American.
Collison played four seasons of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. He achieved All-Pac-10 conference honors three times, and also won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award in his senior year as the top college player standing 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m) or under.
Darren Collison who played in the NBA from 2009 until 2019, spent four years with the Indiana Pacers and three years in Sacramento. The point guard also played for Dallas, New Orleans, and both Los Angeles teams.
It was in 2019 that the guard decided to retire and focus on his faith. He made this decision at 31 years of age after coming off a season in which he averaged 11.2 points and 6 assists per game with the Pacers.
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith,” Collison announced before retiring.
The point guard returned to the NBA and signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers in December 2021. He featured in just three games before his contract expired.
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Find out more about him on Instagram
2 Danny Granger
Danny Granger Jr. (born April 20, 1983) is an American former professional basketball player who played ten seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Granger attended Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana. A four-year letterman at Grace King, he averaged 24.3 points, 12 rebounds and 5.5 blocks per game as a senior.
He was a McDonald’s All-American nominee before his senior year. He scored a 30 on his ACT and was accepted to Yale University.
Granger who spent nine seasons with the Pacers was one of the best scorers on the team. The forward played for the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat after Indiana. Sadly, he could not win a championship like others.
Granger was raised by his parents who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, but wasn’t baptized until 2017, two years after his final season in the NBA.
Follow him up on Twitter for more updates.
3 Dewayne Dedmon
Dewayne Jamal Dedmon (born August 12, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed “The Mechanic”, he played college basketball for Antelope Valley College and USC.
Dewayne Dedmon is has attained so many heights in his career and is regarded as one of the top role players in the NBA. However, the 7-foot center may not have been in the NBA if he had followed his mother’s advice. Dedmon was raised by his Jehovah’s Witnesses Parents and sadly, his mother forbade him from playing basketball.
As a teen, Dedmon was so skinny and due to his family’s religion, he wasn’t coached. Despite all odds, he gave in his best and was eventually picked up by the NBA.
Dedmon hasn’t won a championship yet and is entering the final stages of his career. His story is very inspiring and proof that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. On April 8, 2021, Dedmon signed with the Miami Heat. Dedmon re-signed with the Heat on August 6, 2021, on a one year veteran’s minimum contract.
On July 6, 2022, Dedmon got another 2 year $9 million contract deal with the Heat, . On January 11, 2023, the Heat suspended Dedmon for one game due to an incident during a game with the Oklahoma City Thunder a day earlier.
My Final Thought
Religion doesn’t affect ones success in his/her career. All that matters is the persons determination, coupled with discipline, hardwork and of course prayers.