Dewayne Dedmon, Danny Granger, and Darren Collison are 3 Ex NBA players who share a common faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their missionary beliefs have been recognized, adding a unique dimension to their careers in the world of professional basketball.
Notably, Darren Collison made a significant decision to retire from the NBA to fully devote himself to the practice of his Jehovah’s Witness faith.
The NBA is a global sport, attracting followers from diverse backgrounds, including various nationalities, races, ethnicities, and religious affiliations, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are so many great white NBA players that are leading currently.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses religious movement was founded in the late 19th century by Charles Taze Russell in the United States. Presently, this belief system boasts a substantial following of approximately 8.7 million adherents from 240 countries around the world.
What Does Jehovah’s Witnesses mean?
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a religious denomination and Christian movement known for its distinctive beliefs and practices. The term “Jehovah” refers to the personal name of God in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that they have the most accurate understanding of biblical teachings and follow a unique interpretation of Christianity.
Some key beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses include:
- Monotheism: They believe in the worship of one true God, Jehovah, and reject the doctrine of the Trinity.
- Jesus Christ: They consider Jesus to be the Son of God and the Savior of humanity, but not part of a co-equal Trinity with God.
- Bible as Authority: They view the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God and rely heavily on it for their beliefs.
- Refusal of Military Service and Political Involvement: They typically abstain from military service and avoid involvement in politics. They believe in neutrality and allegiance only to God’s Kingdom.
- Blood Transfusions: Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions based on their interpretation of certain Bible passages. They believe that blood represents life and should not be consumed or transfused.
- No Celebration of Holidays: They do not celebrate traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter, considering them to have pagan origins and not aligned with biblical teachings.
Darren Collison was an NBA player from 2009 to 2019. He played for the Indiana Pacers for four years and spent three years with the Sacramento Kings. Additionally, he had stints with the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, and both Los Angeles teams.
Throughout his NBA career, Collison was open about his strong faith and beliefs. In 2019, he made a courageous decision to retire to focus on his spiritual journey as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Despite being a talented and accomplished point guard, Collison’s commitment to his faith led him to step away from the limelight of the NBA. He felt a calling to dedicate more time and effort to his religious practices and evangelism.
However, his spiritual journey didn’t end there. In December 2021, he surprised the basketball world when he made a brief return to the NBA, signing a 10-day contract with Los Angeles Lakers. During this short stint, he played only three games before his contract expired.
Danny Granger’s faith as a Jehovah’s Witness had a significant impact on his upbringing and personal values. Growing up in a household deeply rooted in the Jehovah’s Witness faith, Granger’s high standards set him apart from others. Despite being raised in a religious environment, it wasn’t until 2017, in his mid-30s and two years after retiring from the NBA, that he chose to be christened.
According to Danny, his religious upbringing instilled in him a strong sense of respect & forbade him from using curse words. He believes that the brought up in such a respectful manner is what truly matters in the end.
Having been raised in a pious family played a vital role in Granger’s personal growth and evolution as a man. He expressed gratitude for being brought up in the right way, considering that many kids are raised differently today.
Throughout his NBA career, Granger played for the Indiana Pacers from 2005 to 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014, and the Miami Heat from 2014 to 2015.
Interestingly, the revelation about Granger’s faith came to public attention when comedian Brittany Schmitt mentioned him in a comedy set. Following the mention, her husband decided to look up how many Ex NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses and discovered Granger’s connection to the faith.
Dewayne Dedmon grow up with his devoted mother, Gail Lewis, who joined Truth four in 1995. Dedmon family discouraged him from pursuing basketball due to religious reasons. Despite this, he defied the odds and went on to achieve a successful NBA career.
Raised in a family deeply committed to their Jehovah’s Witness beliefs, Dedmon’s childhood was marked by religious practices. They include regular Bible Study and dedicating Saturdays to spreading the word as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Like all members of this faith, they abstained from saluting the flag, voting or serving in the armed forces. Celebrating birthdays and holidays was also off-limits due to their religious convictions.
Initially forbidden from playing any sport as it challenged their priorities as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Dedmon’s journey into college basketball strained his relationship with his mother. However, over time, they found common ground, and Gail even attended some of his games.
Despite the challenges and sacrifices he and his family made due to their faith, Dewayne Dedmon’s passion for basketball ultimately led him to excel in the NBA.