Being a student-athlete is never an easy thing to do, as most people tend to either work their butts off to get into a top-notch college to become a professional, or they spent 90% of the time on the gym or YMCA to try and become the next superstar.
Thus, some players have also thrived in the classrooms, posting great averages on the court while also being able to nail it on their GPA’s and actually go through a full season attending their class and getting their majors.
Some other guys wait until they finish their NBA career to go back to college and finish their degrees, but what this smart-assess do is way more impressive, as everybody knows how demanding both academic and elite sports lifestyle can be.
So today, we’ll honor those guys with our list of top 10 players that actually have a college degree besides being NBA athletes.
10. Kelly Olynyk
The Canadian big man sure does look like a guy that’s more likely to be in a classroom rather than an NBA court, and even if his development as a stretch four has significantly stalled over the past seasons, he just got a big contract with the Heat during this offseason.
But what makes him way more impressive than his on court performance, is the fact that he actually has an accounting major and it’s just a couple of semesters away from earning an MBA.
He’s also shown interest in attending the St. Bonaventure University in the past too.
9. Jeremy Lin
Perhaps this is a bit racist, but if you expect anyone in the NBA to be a genius, of course, it has to be Jeremy Lin, a standout student that also thrived during his high school years, although he didn’t get a single top-notch scholarship offer.
Still, the Brooklyn Nets point guard and former league star for a brief period of time has a degree in economics from Harvard University, which he attended before taking the MSG for assault.
8. Mason Plumlee
Plumlee’s career appeared to be on the rise a couple of seasons ago as a part of Team USA’s roster and one of the main young pieces of the Brooklyn Nets court before being dealt and seeing his playing time take a huge dip.
Nonetheless, he could have a very bright future even if he doesn’t make it in the Association, as the best Plumlee brother dual majored in both Psychology and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University.
7. Roy Hibbert
Hibbert was once one of the most dominant big men in the Eastern Conference, locking down the paint as an elite rim protector for an Indiana Pacers team that looked poised to end the Heat’s dominance under James’ command.
Sadly, his numbers and overall performance really diminished over the course of the years, and the former All-Star is not worthy of an NBA roster anymore, so he could have a better career in governmental studies, as he graduated from Georgetown.
6. Dwight Powell
The big man has never been much of a consistent or even important NBA player, although he seemed like he was set to become a very reliable backup player for the Dallas Mavericks, a team that’s very likely to deal him now that they’re in rebuild mode.
Still, if he doesn’t make it in the NBA, the Canadian has a bright future on a lot of different fields, as he actually thrived in Stanford University, where he got a science, technology and society degree.
5. Andrew Nicholson
The tweener Canadian Power Forward hasn’t been much of a force in the NBA, struggling to establish himself on a roster and playing for the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets in just over 5 NBA seasons.
Still, he managed to finish college before actually being drafted in one of the most difficult subjects that may ever exist: Physics. Wow, that’s impressive!
4. Jeff Green
Way back then in 2007, it seemed like the 5th overall pick of the draft was set to be a huge star due to his offensive explosiveness and versatility, something that never actually happened at an NBA level.
Nevertheless, the Georgetown alumni actually came back to school during the summers, working hard in the gym and the classroom to try and get a minor degree in Theology while majoring in English.
3. Victor Oladipo
Oladipo’s career didn’t get off to the great start we all hoped it would be, coming as the second overall pick out of Indiana University as the new Dwyane Wade, and he was recently dealt to the Pacers to go back to that city in order to bring Paul George to the Thunder.
What most people don’t know is that the young shooting guard is also a very smart and hard working guy, majoring in sports communication before entering the Association while taking a lot of extra credits during his last semester.
2. Vince Carter
There’s an urban legend that says that Vince Carter actually attended his graduation before game 7 of the 2011 playoffs as he had made that promise to his mom, finishing his African-American studies besides being one of the most dominant players of his era.
Now, as a veteran member of the Sacramento Kings, one of the greatest players of the past couple of decades could just sit down and enjoy his career earning while also being a professional.
1. Jimmy Butler
Butler’s story has to be one of the most heartfelt in the NBA, even being homeless as a teenager before moving in with a friend that took him under his wing before he attended Marquette University.
Now, the All-Star and new member of the Minnesota Timberwolves is not only one of the best two-way players in the Association, but also has a degree in communications, so you know that he may be around in the league as a journalist when he decides to call it a career.