Ex Basketball Players That Are Jehovah Witnesses

The Intersection of Sports and Religion

Sports and religion have always had a complex relationship. On one hand, many athletes use their platform to express their religious beliefs and values. On the other hand, sports culture can often prioritize competition and individual achievement over religious teachings like humility and compassion. However, there are many ex basketball players who have found a way to reconcile these two worlds by becoming Jehovah Witnesses.

What is Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination that is known for its door-to-door evangelism and strict adherence to biblical teachings. Some of their beliefs include rejecting blood transfusions, abstaining from premarital sex, and refusing to celebrate holidays or birthdays. They also believe in the imminent end of the world and the establishment of a new, paradise earth.

Ex Basketball Players Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses

Several ex basketball players have converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years. These include:

1. Michael Adams

Michael Adams is a retired NBA point guard who played for the Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, and Sacramento Kings. He converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses during his playing career and has been an active member of the faith ever since.

2. Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson is a former NBA player and current ESPN analyst who played for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets. He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1993 and has credited the faith with helping him overcome personal struggles.

3. A.C. Green

A.C. Green is a retired NBA power forward who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat. He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1985 and has been a vocal advocate for the faith ever since.

4. Pervis Ellison

Pervis Ellison is a retired NBA center who played for the Washington Bullets, Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics, and Seattle SuperSonics. He became a Jehovah’s Witness in 1997 and has credited the faith with helping him turn his life around after struggling with addiction.

Why Do Ex Basketball Players Convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses?

There are many reasons why ex basketball players might be drawn to Jehovah’s Witnesses. For some, it may be a way to find meaning and purpose outside of basketball after retirement. For others, it may be a way to address personal struggles or find a sense of community.

1. Sense of Purpose

One of the core tenets of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the belief that every individual has a purpose in life. This can be especially appealing for ex basketball players who may be searching for a new sense of direction after retiring from a career that they have devoted their entire lives to.

2. Community

Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for their tight-knit communities and emphasis on fellowship. For ex basketball players who may have spent their careers on the road or away from family and friends, this sense of community can be especially appealing.

3. Personal Struggles

Many ex basketball players struggle with personal demons like addiction or depression after retiring from the game. Jehovah’s Witnesses offer a supportive and non-judgmental environment where individuals can address these issues and find strength in their faith.

The Challenges of Being a Jehovah’s Witness in the NBA

While many ex basketball players have found fulfillment in their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are also challenges that come with being a member of this denomination in the NBA.

1. Refusing Blood Transfusions

One of the most well-known beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses is their refusal to accept blood transfusions. This can be a challenge for NBA players who may be at risk of serious injury during games.

2. Abstaining from Pre-marital Sex

Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe in abstaining from premarital sex, which can be difficult for NBA players who are known for their extravagant lifestyles and sexual exploits.

3. Refusing to Celebrate Holidays and Birthdays

Finally, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate holidays or birthdays, which can be a challenge for NBA players who are used to being in the public eye and participating in high-profile events.


Despite these challenges, many ex basketball players have found fulfillment and purpose in their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. By prioritizing their spiritual lives over their careers in the NBA, they have been able to find a sense of peace and community that transcends the world of sports.