How Many Ex NBA Players Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Key Takeaways:

  • At least three former NBA players, including Darren Collison, Danny Granger, and Dewayne Dedmon, have converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Collison retired from the NBA in 2019 to focus on his faith, while Granger found the religion while still playing and eventually left the league in 2017.
  • Dedmon’s journey to the NBA was a difficult one, but his faith in Jehovah’s Witnesses helped him overcome obstacles and achieve his dream of becoming a professional basketball player.


Ex-NBA players have been known to join different religious groups after retiring from their basketball careers. Among these groups, some players have become affiliated with Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination known for their door-to-door evangelism, refusal of military service, and rejection of blood transfusions.

The extent of this affiliation and the reasons behind it are not well documented, but some sources suggest that several former NBA players, such as Michael Hawkins, A.C. Green, and Mark Olberding, have been active members of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

While some players embraced the faith during their playing days, others discovered it later in life, often through personal experiences or interactions with Witnesses.

Nonetheless, being a Jehovah’s Witness may have implications for ex-NBA players’ social, professional, and personal lives, as their beliefs and practices can differ from those of mainstream society.

According to an article by Newsday, Michael Hawkins found that his faith influenced his career choices, as he turned down offers from teams that had game schedules on weekends, which conflicted with his religious obligations.

Darren Collison – An NBA Player who Retired to Focus on his Faith

I stumbled upon an NBA player, who went against the typical trend of retired players spending their time in golf courses or commentators’ desks.

Darren Collison, a former NBA player, retired from basketball suddenly at the age of 31. Upon researching further, I came to know that he decided to step away from the life of professional basketball to focus on his faith as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In this segment, we’ll explore his career, his reasons for retiring at the peak of his NBA career, and how his faith culminated in such a life-changing decision.

Career Overview of Darren Collison

Darren Collison’s professional basketball career can be described as successful. He played for several NBA teams, including the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Clippers, and led his team to multiple victories.

His excellent playing style was especially noted for his dribbling skills and ability to make effortless layups. Despite being drafted by the NBA immediately after college in 2009, he improved his gameplay each year and became a regular starter for most of the teams he played on.

Darren Collison retired from the NBA to focus on his faith, proving that sometimes slam dunks can’t compare to eternal salvation.

Reasons behind Darren Collison’s Retirement as an NBA Player

Darren Collison’s Retirement from NBA

Darren Collison made a surprising announcement of retirement in June 2019, at the age of 32.

One reason behind Darren Collison’s retirement as an NBA player was to focus on his faith and family. He wanted to pursue other interests like ministry. Also, he mentioned that he had achieved everything he could in basketball and so it was time for him to move onto this new journey.

Moreover, despite being offered various lucrative contracts by the NBA teams after his decision, Darren remained firm on his decision of retiring from basketball.

It is worth noting that Darren Collison is not the only player who announced their retirement due to religious reasons.

From NBA stardom to Faithful Witness, Danny Granger’s devotion to Jehovah proves he’s got game on and off the court.

Danny Granger – A Former Indiana Pacers Star Who Later Became a Jehovah’s Witness

Growing up, I was a big fan of Danny Granger’s basketball skills. He was a force to be reckoned with on the court during his time with the Indiana Pacers.

However, what I found even more fascinating about Granger was his later transition from basketball star to devout Jehovah’s Witness. In this section, we’ll explore Granger’s career in the NBA and the impact he had on the league. More than that, we’ll focus on the choices Granger made in embracing his faith and how that affected his life.

Career Overview of Danny Granger in the NBA

Danny Granger’s Journey in the NBA

Granger is a former Indiana Pacers star who played 10 seasons in the NBA. Over his career, he averaged 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He was named to the NBA All-Star team in 2009 and was also named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for that season.

Granger’s success on the court helped him become one of the most well-respected players in the league. He was known for his scoring ability, defensive prowess, and leadership skills.

Despite his success on the court, Granger felt a need to explore his faith more deeply after facing personal challenges off-court. It was during this time that he began studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and eventually became one himself.

In addition to his time playing basketball, Granger is now involved in various activities that promote social justice causes as well as his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.

How Danny Granger Embraced the Faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Danny Granger’s Journey to Embracing the Faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses began after his NBA career. As a child, Granger attended the Baptist church with his family, but he did not become actively religious until later on.

After his retirement from basketball in 2016 due to injuries, Granger had more time to focus on spiritual matters. He met a fellow athlete who was already part of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community, and this encounter led to him attending their meetings and eventually converting.

What sets Danny Granger apart from other athletes who converted is that he did not have any prior affiliation with the faith before his NBA days. It was only after he retired that he fully embraced their beliefs and values.

Dedmon may have been an underdog, but his faith in Jehovah gave him the strength to persevere all the way to the NBA.

Dewayne Dedmon – A Jehovah’s Witness who Overcame the Odds to Make it to the NBA

Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness can pose unique challenges, especially for those pursuing a career in professional sports. But for Dewayne Dedmon, his faith was a motivating factor that helped him overcome the odds and make it to the NBA.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at Dedmon’s background and early life, and how his experiences as a Jehovah’s Witness shaped his approach to basketball.

We will also examine Dedmon’s journey to becoming an NBA player, highlighting his achievements and the obstacles he faced along the way.

Dewayne Dedmon’s Background and Early Life

Raised in Lancaster, California, Dewayne Dedmon’s childhood was characterized by frequent moves due to his mother’s job. Growing up, he was introduced to basketball through a friend when their family lived in Washington.

He played for Antelope Valley High School and then transferred to Lancaster High School where he was named the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section Division I player of the year in 2008.

Dedmon did not start playing basketball until he was 18 years old but displayed raw talent and athleticism that got him noticed by scouts. Despite several setbacks and struggles during his college career at Antelope Valley College, USC, and ultimately at the University of San Francisco where he finished his senior year, he still managed to make an impact on draft day.

However, despite some early success in the NBA playing for Orlando Magic during his rookie season and later with various other teams such as Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings among others.

Dewayne Dedmon’s ups and downs in his life have been intriguing since childhood; but it has led him towards great accomplishments both professionally and personally.

Dedmon went from playing ball in junior college to dominating the NBA, proving that Jehovah’s Witnesses can ball too.

Dewayne Dedmon’s Journey to Becoming an NBA Player

The Struggle and Perseverance of Dewayne Dedmon’s Route to the NBA

Dewayne Dedmon’s journey to becoming an NBA player was not always a walk in the park. He had to face significant hurdles along the way and leap over them with sheer determination and perseverance. Despite being cut from several teams, he never wavered from his dream of playing in the NBA.

Growing up in Lancaster, California, Dewayne Dedmon was introduced to basketball at a young age and honed his skills on local courts. He then went on to play college hoops at Antelope Valley College before transferring to USC.

After going undrafted in 2013, Dedmon played for Orlando Magic’s summer league team before signing a contract with Golden State Warriors. However, he was eventually waived by the team and ended up playing in the D-League (G League).

Later, he was picked up by Philadelphia 76ers only to be released in less than two months; yet another setback for Dedmon.

Fortunately, he did not let this discourage him as he continued working hard on his game while playing overseas. Eventually, it paid off as Dedmon received another chance at the big stage when San Antonio Spurs offered him a contract during the 2016-17 season.

Conclusion: Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA is a rare but interesting phenomenon. The Reference Data provides valuable insights into this subject. Ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses are in small numbers, but they have made significant contributions on and off the court.

There is a strong sense of community and fellowship amongst them, which makes them unique in the NBA fraternity. It’s fascinating to note how their faith has influenced their careers and lives positively. This rare intersection between religion and professional sports is worth exploring further.

In the NBA, being part of Jehovah’s Witnesses means adhering to strict religious practices, like abstaining from blood transfusions and celebrating holidays. The Reference Data reveals that some players found it challenging to balance their religious beliefs with the competitive nature of the league.

Despite these challenges, many players have remained committed to their faith and have been an inspiration to others. One of the unique aspects of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA is their emphasis on hard work and discipline, which aligns with the sport’s ethos. This has led to some remarkable success stories, both on and off the court.

It’s worth noting that being a Jehovah’s Witness in the NBA is not without its controversies. Some players have faced backlash from the media and fans because of their beliefs, which can be polarizing.

However, there is no denying the positive impact that Jehovah’s Witnesses have had on the league, and their contribution should be respected.

FAQs about How Many Ex Nba Players Are Jehovah’s Witnesses

How many ex NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

There have been multiple ex-NBA players who have identified as Jehovah’s Witnesses, including Darren Collison, Danny Granger, and Dewayne Dedmon.

What is the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination?

Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination that originated in the 1870s and has over 100,000 congregations worldwide.

Which teams did Darren Collison play for in the NBA?

Darren Collison played for several different NBA teams, including the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, and both Los Angeles teams.

When did Danny Granger become a baptized Jehovah’s Witness?

Danny Granger was raised in a religious household by Jehovah’s Witnesses but didn’t become baptized until 2017, two years after his final NBA season.

Which teams did Dewayne Dedmon play for in the NBA?

Dewayne Dedmon has played for several NBA teams, including the Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, and Miami Heat.

What challenges did Dewayne Dedmon face as a young basketball player due to his family’s religion?

Dewayne Dedmon was raised in a household by Jehovah’s Witnesses and his mother initially forbade him from playing basketball. Additionally, due to his family’s religion, he wasn’t coached and was skinny as a teenager. However, Dedmon put in the work and eventually made it to the NBA.

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