The NBA features players of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities, making basketball really a worldwide sport. Numerous religions, including Jehovah’s Witnesses who are former NBA players, are also represented there.
Who are the three Jehovah’s Witnesses who play in the NBA?
Members of the Christian-based religious movement known as Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to number around 8.7 million worldwide, including 1.3 million in the United States.
According to the BBC, Charles Taze Russell served as the denomination’s founder as it was established in the USA near the end of the 19th century. Most people know movement members for their door-to-door evangelistic efforts.
Here are three Jehovah’s Witnesses below:
- Darren Collison
Another former Pacer who is a Jehovah’s Witness is Darren Collison. Collison was selected by the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers with the 21st overall choice in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Collison announced his retirement from the NBA on June 28, 2019, citing religious motivations.
Collison spoke with ESPN’s Marc J. Spears for The Undefeated, and he said:
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith. “I am one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and my faith means everything to me.
“I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched.”
The “Mechanic” Dewyane Dedmon, who has played for a number of NBA clubs, is currently a member of the Miami Heat.
However, Dedmon’s mother Gail’s religious reservations prevented him from participating in high school basketball until his final year. Gail reared Dewayne and his two sisters as members of the Jehovah’s Witness faith.
According to the religion, “allegiance to anyone or anything but Jehovah is banned, “allegiance to anyone or anything but Jehovah is forbidden.” However, playing on a sports team was not “expressly forbidden.”
Dewayne informed his mom that he would join the basketball team when he was 18 years old.
“At first, she definitely wasn’t a fan,” Dedmon told Business Insider. “But like I said, I was 18, so I was an adult, so I could make my own decisions.”
“It definitely took some time for her to come around to the fact that I was playing basketball.”
Dewyane may still be a Jehovah’s Witness, or he may have completely renounced his faith.
Former Milwaukee Bucks player Dave Meyers played for the team. In college, he also played forward for the UCLA Bruins, where he captured two national titles.
He was selected with the second overall pick in the first round of the 1975 NBA draft. Meyers spent four years as a paid member of the Bucks.
Meyers unexpectedly announced in 1980 that he was quitting basketball to spend more time with his family. Additionally, he wanted to spend more time practicing his Jehovah’s Witness faith. On October 9, 2015, he passed away at the age of 62 from cancer.