The National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) is widely recognized as one of the best basketball leagues in the world. Some N.B.A. players have become famous for their physical abilities, talent, and religious beliefs. Several retired N.B.A. players have converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their evangelistic efforts. However, they adhere to several beliefs at odds with those of mainstream Christianity. They believe individual Bible study to be valuable but frown upon public displays of religion, such as blood transfusions and birthday parties. Its adherents are noted for their unwavering commitment to the Bible and insistence that ethical principles guide moral aspects of daily life. Here is a list of N.B.A. players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s witnesses:
Former N.B.A. player A.C. Green is a committed member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. For 16 years, Green was a mainstay in the N.B.A., notably with the Lakers, Suns, and Mavericks. He was an indispensable part of the Lakers teams that won three N.B.A. titles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and his on-court toughness and reliability earned him a reputation as an N.B.A. legend.
In the middle of the 1980s, Green joined the worldwide Christian movement known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. He has utilized his celebrity to spread his religious ideas. He has talked openly about how his faith has helped him stay true to his professional and personal principles. He also speaks regularly at religious gatherings and youth activities, encouraging others to follow Christ and sharing stories from his life.
Former N.B.A. player Detlef Schrempf is a committed member of the Jehovah’s Witness faith. The Indiana Pacers, Seattle SuperSonics, & Portland Trail Blazers were Schrempf’s primary stops throughout his 16 years in the N.B.A. He played for the N.B.A. and the German national team, and his versatility on the court earned him All-Star honors twice.
In the middle of the 1990s, Schrempf decided to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he has been an active member ever since. In addition to advocating for the sport in his home country of Germany, he has also served as an international representative for the N.B.A.
Abdul-Rauf was a key player for the N.B.A.’s Denver Nuggets for six years. His scoring prowess and unconventional shooting form (he held the ball in his right hand and shot with his left) made him a fan favorite. In 1991, Abdul-Rauf changed his name from Chris Jackson to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf when he embraced Islam. He eventually became a Jehovah’s Witness and has been actively involved in the organization ever since.
For most of his 17 years in the N.B.A., Jackson was a member of the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers, and the Golden State Warriors. He was well-respected for his court vision and passing skills and ranked third all-time in assists in the history of the N.B.A.
Jackson converted to Christianity in the late 1990s and has remained a devout follower. He led the Warriors to their first N.B.A. title in 40 years in 2015 after retiring as a player and establishing himself as a successful coach. He recently converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses along with other ex-NBA players.
Adams spent most of his 11 years in the N.B.A. with the Denver Nuggets and the Washington Bullets. He was the N.B.A.’s steals leader in the 1988–1989 season, and his agility and long-range shooting skills made him a star. Adams became a devout follower of God in the late 1990s.
Theus spent 13 years as a professional basketball player in the N.B.A., notably with the Chicago Bulls, the Sacramento Kings, and the Atlanta Hawks. He was a two-time N.B.A. All-Star whose scoring prowess and floor versatility earned him that honor. Theus became a dedicated Jehovah’s Witness after deciding to join the organization in the early 1990s.
Carr played in the N.B.A. for 16 seasons, primarily with the Atlanta Hawks, the Sacramento Kings, and the Utah Jazz. He was known for his toughness and scoring ability, and he helped lead the Jazz to the N.B.A. Finals in 1997 and 1998. Carr became a Jehovah’s Witness in the early 1990s and has been an active member ever since.
After 12 seasons in the N.B.A., predominantly with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns, Tisdale retired from professional basketball. While playing collegiate basketball at the University of Oklahoma, he was recognized as a three-time All-American thanks to his scoring prowess and competitive spirit.
Tisdale became an ardent Jehovah’s Witness after converting in the mid-1990s, and he frequently used his musical and public speaking talents to spread the gospel. Tisdale died at 44 from cancer-related complications but will be remembered as a gifted basketball player and committed Christian.
Former N.B.A. player Thurl Bailey is a professed Jehovah’s Witness. For 12 years, the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves benefited from Bailey’s N.B.A. talents. The Jazz made it to the N.B.A. Finals twice in the 1990s, thanks mainly to his ability to play numerous positions. In the middle of the 1990s, Bailey decided to become a Jehovah’s Witness, and he has been an active member ever since.
McIlvaine played in the N.B.A. for seven seasons, primarily with the Washington Bullets, the Seattle SuperSonics, and the New Jersey Nets. He was known for his shot-blocking ability and tenacity on the court, and he was a pivotal contributor to the SuperSonics team that reached the N.B.A. Finals in 1996. McIlvaine became a Jehovah’s Witness in the late 1990s and has been an active member ever since.
Porter played for ten years for the N.B.A.’s Baltimore Bullets and Detroit Pistons. He was lightning-quick and agile on the floor, leading the league in assists twice in his career. Porter became one of the millions of followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the early 1980s.
For most of his 13 years in the N.B.A., Foster was a member of the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Seattle SuperSonics. His toughness and defensive prowess on the court were legendary, and he was an instrumental part of the Jazz’s 1997 and 1998 runs to the N.B.A. Finals. Foster converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses around the decade’s midpoint, and he’s been a devout follower ever since.
Ellison played in the N.B.A. for 11 seasons, primarily with the Washington Bullets, the Sacramento Kings, and the Boston Celtics. He was known for his versatility on the court and his tenacity as a defender, and he was named the N.B.A.’s Most Improved Player in 1992 after a breakout season with the Bullets. Ellison became a Jehovah’s Witness in the early 1990s and has been an active member ever since.
Former N.B.A. Players Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses:
It is not unusual for former N.B.A. players to be Jehovah’s Witnesses. They left a lingering impression on the N.B.A. There are no N.B.A. players who practice this religion right now. However, Mark Jackson, a well-known basketball analyst, and James Jordan, Michael Jordan’s father, both did so while they were playing professionally.