Several NBA players are known to be huge fans of other sports. Most of them grew up being multi-sport athletes before they eventually decided on continuing with basketball.
Michael Jordan is one of the most famous examples of an NBA player who was a legitimate prospect to play another sport. He was a huge baseball fan and wanted to become a pro baseball player growing up before he pursued basketball. In fact, Jordan still chased his baseball dream after leading the Chicago Bulls to their first three-peat.
Like Jordan, a lot of the current players wanted to pursue sports other than just basketball, growing up. Some of them had a realistic shot at making it big as they were considered legitimate prospects.
On that note, let's take a look at five active players from the NBA who were legitimate prospects in other sports.
#5 Pat Connaughton - Baseball
Pat Connaughton was a multi-sport athlete in high school. It took a while for him before he made his mark in basketball. The first sport he was more renowned for during his high school days was baseball. The 2020 NBA champion received major interest from NCAA Division I schools because of his skills as a baseball player.
Connaughton made his mark in basketball between his junior and senior years. By then, he had started receiving several offers from various colleges for both sports. Some were even willing to let him play both. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 38th round of the MLB draft in 2011.
However, he decided to continue attending college and played for the basketball and baseball team for Notre Dam. Connaughton entered the MLB draft again in 2013, while he also wanted to continue playing basketball as a senior for Notre Dame. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Orioles.
He made his professional baseball debut for the Aberdeen IronBirds in 2014. He left the team, later on, to return to Notre Dame's basketball team. Connaughton entered the 2015 NBA draft and was selected as the 41st overall pick. He never played baseball professionally again.
#4 Anthony Edwards - American Football
Anthony Edwards developed into one of the top prospects in American football as a young kid in Atlanta. Basketball wasn't even his first love until he saw his brothers play the sport, which made him lean towards pursuing it when he grew up. The decision worked wonders for him as he was eventually drafted #1 overall in the 2020 NBA draft.
Nonetheless, he became one of the best Pop Warner running backs at the age of ten. He played for the Atlanta Vikings. He also played as a cornerback and quarterback.
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