There are many athletes who never passed high school or dropped out of college to become professionals in their sport. These include cricket, soccer, basketball, and tennis (among other sports).
In the USA, if someone wants to become a professional American football player or basketball player, he has to have four years of college attendance. In recent years, this rule has become less enforced.
Now how about a new twist to the story of the modern athlete.
Do you know of any professional athlete who has quit his/her athletic career to pursue their “other” interests? I know some athletes have done this at the tail end of their career. However, I’m talking about someone who is giving it all up and going in a completely different direction at the height of their career.
(Courtesy Yahoo: John Urschel)
John Urschel is a 26 year old professional American football player. He played for the Baltimore Ravens. After graduating from college, he was recruited by the Baltimore Ravens three years ago. His football salary is more than $600,000 per year.
John Urschel just announced his retirement from professional football a few days ago to pursue his “passion”. What is the passion for this “meathead” aka “dumb jock”?
Well it’s Mathematics of course.
OOOOPS! Sorry I meant to say braniac aka scholar athlete.
John has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mathematics. He is currently working on his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying spectral graph theory.
Getting the opportunity to play professional football in America is extremely difficult as the competition is so fierce. On the flip side, getting admitted to MIT to complete a Ph.D program is also highly prestigious.
John is an inspirational individual. Young people should look up to him as a role model instead of looking up to some other professional athletes. John uses his brain power to the fullest as well as his athletic abilities.
Just now, it comes to my mind what Arthur Ashe (winner of Wimbledon, Australian, and US Open tennis tournaments) once said about young black people.
Arthur Ashe, a black man himself, said (paraphrased):
It pains me to see many black kids want to become professional basketball players. That’s their ultimate goal. That’s the highest they can dream of. But no one ever thinks or dreams of wanting to own a team. You see if you own the team, then you have enough money to pay these professional basketball players…and then they work for you.