As we know from decades of players deemed ineligible for their unproductive academic careers, being a student and an athlete is not easy. Most successful people tend to concentrate on their studies, to become professionals in their fields. Players, however, spend most of the time working out their bodies to become perfect athletes. Where’s the time for school?
To be fair there are plenty of players that have excelled both in the classroom and on the field. But with the pressure to perform and big money waiting for them in the pros. many now wait until they finish their careers as athletes to go back to college and get their degrees.
The NCAA gets rightfully criticized for being hypocritical about academics vs. sports. So let’s take a look at the athletes that have been part of the success stories. Here’s NBA players with college degrees who excelled in academics and sports.
The star of the Heat’s run to the NBA Finals played just one year of basketball for Tyler Junior College, Butler transferred to Marquette University on scholarship. He’s become a man of everything in the NBA, a five-time All-star, a three-time All-NBA Team honoree, and a four-time All-defensive Team honoree. He was the most improved NBA player in 2015 and was the heart and soul of the Miami Cinderella run this fall. He finally graduated from Marquette with a degree in Communication. Just like Butler, to get into a reputable university and come out with flying colors takes effort. It’s not always possible to do everything on your own. When I was in this situation, I found a helping hand in form of EduBirdie, a premier writing site. Edubirdie did my essay like a pro and my professor thought it was great. As college student to make your studies easier, you really should try it.
2) Vince Carter
Vinsanity is perhaps the greatest dunker of all-time. The legend started his career way back in 1998, where he played for the Raptors for six years. For the last two years he finsihed his career with Atlanta. He was an eight-time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA All-Team honoree. Playing 22 seasons in an insane four different decades, he stood out for his longevity and leadership. After pursuing a degree in African-America Studies at North Carolina, he will transition to an ESPN basketball analyst.
3) Victor Oladipo
The budding Pacers star did his high school studies at famed DeMatha Catholic. He went to Indiana, where he studied and graduated with a degree in Sports Communication before heading to the NBA. Work ethic? Doing things the right way? During his final semester, he completed a whopping 19 credits to finish the degree. This is while he led the Hoosiers to the Big Ten title.
4) Jeff Green
The big man played three seasons for Georgetown. A heady player, Green managed to excel both on the court and in the classroom. He graduated with a minor in Theology and a major in English. He was a top 5 pick, taken 5th overall by the Celtics and now plays for the Houston Rockets.
5) Andrew Nicholson
He was a late bloomer in basketball. He started with a passion for baseball at a young age but as he grew in size and athleticism, he gravitated. towards hoops. He studied Physics at St. Bonaventure (how many of those are there in the NBA?). He earned Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman. In his sophomore year, he earned second-team All-Atlantic 10 honors. As a junior he was an Atlantic 10 Preseason and All-Defensive first-team selection. By the time he was a senior, he was the Atlantic 10 Player of the year. He completed his college with a degree in Physics, and currently plays for the Fujian Sturgeons as a power forward.
All it takes to be above the rest is dedication, hard work, and discipline. The players above have proven to be dedicated to life after basketball. Getting outside of your comfort zone helps tap into your potential and proper planning prevents poor results. It is possible to attain this if you are ready to work for it. Do not fear the challenges ahead but focus on your goal.
Judy Nelson works for an NGO with its operations in Eastern Africa and South Asia and focuses on education for girls. As a side gig, she takes up thesis and dissertation assignments directly from students and online academic services. In her free time, shepursues her hobbies – candle making, cycling and kitchen gardening.