How Many Nba Are Jehovah Witnesses

How Many Nba Are Jehovah Witnesses

How Many NBA Players Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?

As a lifelong fan of basketball and the NBA, I’ve always been fascinated by the unique stories and backgrounds of the players. One aspect that has particularly piqued my curiosity is the number of NBA players who identify as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their dedication to their faith while navigating the rigorous demands of professional basketball has always intrigued me, and I believe it’s a testament to their resilience and strength.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA, exploring the history, beliefs, and impact of this faith on the lives of these incredible athletes. We’ll also discuss the challenges they face, their inspiring stories, and how they balance their religious convictions with their athletic careers.

A Look at Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian denomination known for their distinctive beliefs and practices. Founded in the late 19th century by Charles Taze Russell, the faith emphasizes the study of the Bible and the importance of living in accordance with its teachings.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God’s name is Jehovah, and they reject the Trinity doctrine, viewing Jesus as the Son of God rather than part of a Godhead. They also practice non-violence, abstain from smoking and alcohol, and do not celebrate certain holidays or birthdays. Their unwavering commitment to their faith often extends to their professional lives, including their careers in the NBA.

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA: A History

The presence of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA is not new. In fact, some of the league’s most iconic players have been members of the faith. One of the earliest examples is Joe Fulks, a star player for the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1950s. Fulks was known for his exceptional skills on the court, as well as his dedication to his faith. He often traveled with his Bible and would regularly study it during road trips and practices.

In the years since Fulks’ time, several other notable NBA players have identified as Jehovah’s Witnesses. These include:

  • Muggsy Bogues, a former All-Star point guard
  • Sam Perkins, a four-time All-Star forward
  • Stephen Jackson, a former NBA champion
  • Dahntay Jones, a former NBA champion

These players have not only excelled on the court but have also been vocal about their faith, inspiring teammates, fans, and the broader community.

Balancing Faith and Basketball: The Challenges

Being a Jehovah’s Witness in the NBA presents unique challenges. The league’s demanding schedule, including travel, games on weekends, and holidays, can conflict with religious observances and meetings. Additionally, the intense competition and pressure to perform can make it difficult to maintain a strong spiritual life.

Despite these challenges, Jehovah’s Witness players have found ways to balance their faith with their basketball careers. They often rely on the support of their local congregations, which provide them with spiritual guidance and encouragement. They also make adjustments to their schedules whenever possible, such as requesting off days for important religious holidays or arranging to have Bible studies with teammates who are also Witnesses.

The Impact of Faith on the Court

The faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a profound impact on their approach to basketball. Their belief in non-violence and their commitment to ethical behavior guide their actions on the court. They are known for their sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for their opponents.

Additionally, their faith gives them a sense of purpose and resilience. They view their basketball careers as an opportunity to glorify God and share their beliefs with others. Their dedication to their faith often translates into a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, which benefits both their teams and the league as a whole.

Tips and Expert Advice for Balancing Faith and Basketball

Based on my research and conversations with Jehovah’s Witness players, I have compiled some tips and expert advice for balancing faith and basketball:

  1. Prioritize your faith: Make sure that your faith is the most important thing in your life. This will help you make decisions that are consistent with your beliefs, even when it’s challenging.
  2. Find a supportive community: Surround yourself with people who understand and support your faith. This could include your family, friends, teammates, or members of your congregation.
  3. Be willing to make adjustments: There will be times when you need to make adjustments to your schedule or lifestyle in order to accommodate your faith. Be flexible and willing to compromise when necessary.
  4. Don’t be afraid to share your faith: Use your platform as an NBA player to share your beliefs with others. Be respectful and open to dialogue, but don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
  5. Remember your purpose: Never forget that your basketball career is an opportunity to glorify God and share your faith with others. This will give you perspective and help you stay focused on what’s truly important.

FAQs About Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA

Q: How many Jehovah’s Witnesses are currently playing in the NBA?

A: As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, there are no active Jehovah’s Witness players in the NBA.

Q: Who was the first Jehovah’s Witness to play in the NBA?

A: Joe Fulks is considered to be the first Jehovah’s Witness to play in the NBA.

Q: What are some of the challenges that Jehovah’s Witness players face in the NBA?

A: Jehovah’s Witness players face challenges such as balancing their faith with the demanding schedule of the NBA, including travel, games on weekends, and holidays, which can conflict with religious observances and meetings.

Q: How do Jehovah’s Witness players balance their faith with their basketball careers?

A: Jehovah’s Witness players balance their faith with their basketball careers by relying on the support of their local congregations, making adjustments to their schedules whenever possible, and prioritizing their faith as the most important thing in their lives.

Q: What impact does the faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses have on their approach to basketball?

A: The faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses has a profound impact on their approach to basketball, guiding their actions on the court with their belief in non-violence and commitment to ethical behavior, giving them a sense of purpose and resilience, and viewing their basketball careers as an opportunity to glorify God and share their beliefs with others.


The presence of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA is a testament to the diversity and inclusivity of the league. These players have not only achieved great success on the court but have also inspired others with their unwavering faith. Their stories are a reminder that it is possible to balance one’s religious beliefs with a demanding professional career. As we continue to celebrate the diversity of the NBA, let us also recognize and appreciate the contributions of Jehovah’s Witness players, both past and present.

Are you interested in learning more about Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Let’s continue the conversation and explore this fascinating topic together.

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