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The story of the prospect that got drafted and decided to become a pastor instead

Not a sight you see every day.
Marcus Mann

Marcus Mann

Getting drafted into the National Basketball Association is a dream come true for any young basketball player in the world, as everyone would give up everything else going on in their life to pursue that career path. Well, at least almost everyone. This is the story of Marcus Mann, the former NBA prospect that got drafted and decided to become a pastor instead.

Promising player

Born and raised in Carthage, Mississippi, Marcus was heavily involved with the Baptist church since his younger days. But at the same time, in South Leake High School, Marcus would display impressive academic and athletic skills.

His basketball prowess would earn him a scholarship to play at East Central Community College, where he would dominate and average 21 ppg and 12 rpg in two years. Mann's impressive play would give him a spot at Mississippi Valley State University, getting a chance to play at the top level of NCAA basketball.

The new level was no problem for Mann, who averaged 19.3 ppg and 12.7 rpg in his two years there. Mann's impressive team and individual success would attract the interest of NBA scouts, as Marcus won the SWAC Player of the Year Award and led the whole NCAA in rebounds.

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After graduating, Mann would get selected 40th by the Golden State Warriors in the 1996 Draft and get the opportunity to set himself for life and achieve to dream of millions of young hoopers. But somewhere between the Draft and the start of training camp, Mann lost his love for basketball and found a higher calling, expressing his interest in working with children as a Baptist minister.

The Warriors released him, and Mann lost out on $220 000 of a guaranteed rookie salary and completely changed his life path, switching from a lucrative NBA lifestyle to turning to God and his community. Back in a 2017 interview, Mann explained his reasoning and if he regrets it:

"It wasn't a popular decision, but it was something that I felt led in my heart to do. So I just followed through with it...No matter what people may think, no matter what people may say, I'm confident in where I am. I'm happy in where I am, and at this point in my life I'm where I'm supposed to be."

Marcus Mann, WLBT3

But he admitted he found the love for basketball once again later in his life, but this time through his daughter:

"She started out playing soccer, but then one day she was like 'Dad, I think I want to play basketball.' And I started smiling from within I was like 'Here we go!'. It's brought me back to that love that I had for the game."

Marcus Mann, WLBT3

Definitely, one of a kind story, as you have to applaud Mann and his commitment to following his life path and passions, as not many people would throw away the NBA lifestyle to become pastors and devote their lives to God.

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