How Many Ex-NBA Players Are Jehovah’s Witnesses?


In professional sports, athletes often find solace and guidance in their faith to navigate the challenges of fame, fortune, and competition. The National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) has seen its fair share of players who follow various religious beliefs.

One intriguing question is, “How many ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s Witnesses?” In this article, we’ll explore the intersection of basketball and faith, shedding light on the Jehovah’s Witness beliefs and the notable ex-NBA players who have embraced this religion.

Why Ex-NBA players are Jehovah’s witnesses:

The National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) is widely recognized as one of the best basketball leagues in the world. Some N.B.A. players have become famous for their physical abilities, talent, and religious beliefs. Several retired N.B.A. players have converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their evangelistic efforts. However, they adhere to several beliefs at odds with those of mainstream Christianity. They believe individual Bible study to be valuable but frown upon public displays of religion, such as blood transfusions and birthday parties. Its adherents are noted for their unwavering commitment to the Bible and insistence that ethical principles guide moral aspects of daily life.

Understanding Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Before delving into the world of ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, let’s first understand what it means to be a Jehovah’s Witness. Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination known for its distinctive beliefs and practices.

They are recognized for their door-to-door evangelism, rejection of military service, and refusal of blood transfusions on religious grounds. Jehovah’s Witnesses lead a highly structured and disciplined life with a strong emphasis on living according to biblical principles.

Faith and Basketball: A Unique Combination

Faith can give athletes purpose and stability in professional basketball’s fast-paced and competitive world. While various religions are represented in the N.B.A., Jehovah’s Witnesses stand out due to their strict adherence to their beliefs. Here are some former N.B.A. players who are known to be Jehovah’s Witnesses:

1. A.C. Green:

A former N.B.A. power forward, A.C. Green gained fame for his basketball skills and unwavering commitment to his faith. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent Jehovah’s Witnesses in the history of the N.B.A. Green’s dedication to his religion was so strong that he maintained his vow of celibacy throughout his entire 16-year N.B.A. career.

2. Mark Jackson:

Mark Jackson, a former N.B.A. player and coach, is known for his commitment to his faith. He has been open about being a Jehovah’s Witness and has used his platform to share his beliefs with others.

3. Michael Adams:

Michael Adams, a retired point guard, is another ex-NBA player who is a Jehovah’s Witness. His career in the N.B.A. spanned over a decade, and his faith significantly shaped his character on and off the court.

4. Thurl Bailey:

Thurl Bailey, a former N.B.A. forward, is another player who embraced Jehovah’s Witness beliefs. His faith has guided his life, helping him make ethical and moral decisions throughout his career.

The Influence of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the NBA:

While the number of ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses may not be significant compared to other faiths, their influence extends beyond their personal beliefs. These athletes have served as role models and exemplified the values of discipline, dedication, and integrity central to the Jehovah’s Witness faith.


In the world of professional sports, the intersection of faith and basketball is a fascinating one. Ex-NBA players who are Jehovah’s Witnesses, such as A.C. Green, Michael Adams, Mark Jackson, and Thurl Bailey, have demonstrated that it is possible to excel in a highly competitive field while staying true to one’s religious convictions. Their stories serve as a testament to the power of faith in the face of adversity.


Are there any current N.B.A. players who are Jehovah's Witnesses?

Currently, no publicly known active N.B.A. players identify as Jehovah's Witnesses.

How does being a Jehovah's Witness affect an N.B.A. player's career?

Being a Jehovah's Witness can impact an N.B.A. player's career by influencing their personal choices, such as abstaining from certain activities or maintaining a robust moral code.

Do Jehovah's Witness ex-NBA players continue to promote their faith after retiring?

Many ex-NBA players who are Jehovah's Witnesses continue to promote their faith through speaking engagements, community outreach, and sharing their personal experiences.

Are there any famous Jehovah's Witness N.B.A. champions?

While Jehovah's Witness ex-NBA players have succeeded in their careers, no iconic N.B.A. championship moments are associated explicitly with their faith.

How has the N.B.A. community responded to Jehovah's Witness players?

The N.B.A. community has generally respected Jehovah's Witness players' religious beliefs and acknowledged their dedication to their faith.

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