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Black NBA Players Who Are Jehovah’s Witnesses



Jehovah witness NBA player Darren collison in Indian pacers jersey being interviewed

If you go on Google today and search for the phrase “Ex NBA player Jehovah Witness (Black),” you’ll see very few relevant results, but that doesn’t mean black NBA players Jehovah witnesses don’t exist. That’s why this article will look at the biggest ballers in the NBA who have shown us that you can make it rain on the court and still spread the good news.

We’ve also included active players of the same faith to keep you updated. So, let’s get started!

Danny Granger

Granger was brought up in a religious household by Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, he wasn’t baptized until 2017, two years after he retired from the NBA. 

In his hay days, Danny Granger was a stellar player who scored an average of 17.6 points per game over nine seasons for the Indiana Pacers. His conversion into a full blown Jehovah’s Witness was publicized in 2022 when his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Schmitt, released a stand-up routine that has since gone viral among NBA fans. In the video, Schmitt jokes about a former NBA player she met years ago who suddenly called her after converting and demanded that she repent. 

There aren’t that many ex-black NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, Brittany Schmitt made the search easier by telling us the player was fair-skinned. Out of the three ex black NBA players, only Danny Granger is “fair”. On the other hand, there are speculations that Schmitt made up the joke purely for comedic purposes, so it might not be accurate.

Be warned the comedy set is NSFW.

At the start of his career in 2005, Granger was drafted 17th overall by the Indiana Pacers. In his debut season, he played 78 regular games and averaged 7.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. This earned him a place on the All-NBA Rookie Second Team, and he added 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 6 playoff games.

Granger became the Pacers’ starting small forward for the 2006 -2007 season and eventually became the first man off the bench after the first 15 games. In the 2007 – 2008 season, he led the Pacers in scoring for the first time and averaged 19 points per game while starting all 80 games he played. 

RELATED: 7 Incredible World Cup Moments of Black Players

In the 2008 – 2009 season, he recorded a career-high 42 points against the Detroit Pistons and again against the Golden State Warriors. On January 29, 2009, Granger became an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference. On May 12, 2009, he was awarded the Most Improved Player for 2008 – 2009. That wasn’t his final accolade for the season, as he also became the only player in league history to raise his scoring average by at least five points per game each year (7.5, 13.9, 19.6, 25.8) for three consecutive years.

Sadly, his success streak did not last because his next season was packed with disappointment and marred by losses and injuries. However, on March 26, 2010, Granger scored a new career high of 44 points against the Utah Jazz.

In the Summer of 2010, Granger played at the FIBA World Championship as part of the US Senior National Team. On September 12, the US team won the gold medal at the competition after beating the host country Turkey 81-64.

After his time with Indiana, the forward spent some time with the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat. Unfortunately, he couldn’t win a championship with either team. During the 2012-2013 season, Granger could only play five games due to patellar tendonitis – an injury to the tissue that connects the kneecap and shin bone caused by jumping frequently.

Darren Collison

Darren Collison was in the NBA for ten years until he retired. During his active years, he played with Sacramento and the Indiana Pacers. He also played point guard for New Orleans, Dallas, and Los Angeles teams.

Darren Collison was drafted out of UCLA by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft with the 21st pick. He made a Hornets rookie record with 18 assists in a 113-111 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, ending their 11-game winning streak. 

In that same season, he broke his own record with 20 assists in a 135 – 131 win over the Golden State Warriors. Collison averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 assists in 37 games as a starter which saw him finish 4th in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting.

In 2013, the former Hornets man signed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. Helped by the absence of Chris Paul for an 18-game span, Collison averaged 13.3 points and 6.5 assists in 32.6 minutes. During Game 4 of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Collison hit 12 of his 18 points in the final quarter to help the Clippers come back from 22 points down to tie the series at 2-2. 

In 2014, Darren Collison agreed to a three-year, $16 million deal with the Sacramento Kings before signing again with the Indiana Pacers for the second time. At Indiana, he averaged 11.3 points, 4.7 assists, and 3 rebounds in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately, the Pacers would lose to the Cavaliers in a demanding seven-game series. 

Darren Collison never had a low point in his career, and that was why it shocked basketball fans worldwide when he decided to retire after a great season with the Pacers. In his last season, he made an average of 6 assists and 11.2 points per game.

In 2021, Darren Collison returned to the basketball scene and signed a contract with the Lakers for 10 days. During the contract, Collison appeared in three games until the contract ended.

In his statement, he made it clear that while he still loves basketball, he also understands there’s something more important – his family and his faith. He added that as a Jehovah’s Witness, he receives so much joy from volunteering to help others and participating in a worldwide ministry. 

Dewayne Dedmon

Dewayne Dedmon is one of the best players in the history of the NBA. However, not many people know that he might never have made it to the big leagues if his mother had anything to say about it. Dedmon grew up in a household of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and his mother didn’t allow him to play basketball.

He didn’t get formal coaching for the sport as a teenager, and his skinny frame and religious background didn’t make it easier. However, the 7-foot center put in the work and, in the end, got to show the world his talent on the court. He joined the Miami Heat for the Orlando Summer League after being undrafted in 2013. Eventually, Dedmon was signed by the Golden State Warriors but was later waived by the team after playing in just 5 pre-season games. The Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G League later acquired him as an affiliate Golden State player.

After a series of recalls and waivers with Golden State, Dedmon signed a 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he made his ultimate NBA debut. He signed one more 10-day contract with the franchise before parting ways with them as they elected not to re-sign him for the rest of the season. Dedmon finally signed a multi-year deal with the Orlando Magic, and spent an entire season with the team after signing two 10-day contracts.

During the 2016 – 2017 season, the Lancaster High School alums signed with the San Antonio Spurs. He earned the starting center position with Greg Popovich as the head coach and helped the Spurs reach the Western Conference Finals. Unfortunately, the team lost 4-0 to the Golden State Warriors. 

In 2017, Dedmon signed with the Atlanta Hawks and averaged 10 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, with 52.4 percent shooting from the field for the year. This has been recorded as the best season of his career so far. He also recorded a career-high 20 points with 14 rebounds in the Hawks’ 126 – 80 win over the Sacramento Kings. Dedmon, who is currently with the Philadelphia 76ers, hasn’t won a championship yet and is also entering the final stages of his career. However, his story has inspired many younger black athletes and proved that hard work and dedication can make anything possible.