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10 most educated basketball players in 2024

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most educated basketball players
Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic. Photo/Fox News
  • NBA players enjoy fame for their greatness on the floor
  • But rarely do you ever hear a narration of the most educated basketball players
  • Learned basketball players are people who have pushed back against prejudices

NBA players enjoy fame for their greatness on the floor but rarely do you ever hear a narration of the most educated basketball players. It is a surprise to some basketball fans that some of their beloved players are great scholars.

What’s more is that these very learned basketball players are people who have pushed back against prejudices and pursued academic success in addition to their athletic prowess.  These athletes, who hold PhDs and MBAs, demonstrate that brains and ball abilities can complement one another.  But who are they?

MOST EDUCATED BASKETBALL PLAYERS

Besides making a name for themselves in NBA circles, these 10 brainy ballers add a crown to their legacy by ranking among the most educated basketball players. Here they are.

1. Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)

most educated basketball players

Jaylen Brown. Photo/CNN

This rising star from the Boston Celtics isn’t just a gifted scorer. Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the University of California, Berkeley, a prestigious institution known for its academic rigour.  His educational background suggests an interest in the business side of basketball, potentially preparing him for a future beyond the court.

2. Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Lakers)

Russell Westbrook set to join Lakers

Russell Westbrook.[Credit/skysports.com]

Russell Westbrook is a powerful point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. He brings more than just explosive athleticism to the game.  Westbrook obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

3. Gordon Hayward (Charlotte Hornets)

The Charlotte Hornets’ small forward, Gordon Hayward, boasts a well-rounded skillset on and off the court.  Hayward graduated with a degree in Human Movement Science from Butler University.  This degree program combines biology, anatomy, and exercise science, potentially offering him insights into optimizing his training and preventing injuries.

4. Victor Oladipo (Miami Heat)

Victor Oladipo, a shooting guard at Miami Heat exhibits both athletic talent and intellectual curiosity.  Oladipo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration from Indiana University.  This strategic choice might reflect his desire to be involved in the game’s management aspects after his playing career.

5. Rajon Rondo (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Rajon Rondoof the Cleveland Cavaliers is known for his high basketball IQ and court vision. This alone places him among the most educated basketball players.  Rondo, a shooting guard, complemented his on-court intelligence with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Eastern Kentucky University.

6. Mason Plumlee (Detroit Pistons)

The Detroit Pistons’ centre, Mason Plumlee, is a force to be reckoned with on the court, and his academic achievements are equally impressive.  Plumlee graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University, one of the nation’s leading academic institutions.  His understanding of human behaviour is advantageous on the basketball court.

7. Kelly Olynyk (Detroit Pistons)

Plumlee’s teammate on the Detroit Pistons, Kelly Olynyk, is another player who prioritizes both athletics and academics.  Olynyk holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Gonzaga University, demonstrating his interest in a field far removed from the basketball court.

8. Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks)

As mentioned earlier, the New York Knicks’ point guard, Jalen Brunson, graduated with a degree in Political Science from Villanova University.  His choice of major suggests an interest in areas beyond basketball, potentially preparing him for a career in law or public service after his athletic career concludes.

9. Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets)

Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic. Photo/Larry Brown Sports

The reigning NBA MVP, Nikola Jokić, isn’t just a dominant force on the Denver Nuggets.  Before entering the NBA, Jokić obtained a degree in Sports Management from the University of Novi Sad in his native Serbia.  This educational background likely contributes to his exceptional basketball IQ, allowing him to make strategic decisions on the court.

10. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry. Photo/People

Golden State Warriors’ star point guard, Stephen Curry, needs no introduction for his on-court brilliance.  However, Curry also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Davidson College.  While seemingly unrelated to basketball, this degree program offers valuable insights into team dynamics and leadership, potentially enhancing his ability to rally his teammates.

WHICH NBA PLAYER HAS A PHD?

Retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal takes it home as far as former but most educated basketball players are concerned. He completed an Ed.D. program in Human Resource Development in 2012, focusing on leadership and organizational learning. Barry University in Miami awarded his doctorate in education (Ed.D.)  whose thesis was “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.”

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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