May 21, 2012, 11:02 AM EST
The old adage is, “Stay in school, young man,” but what if you’re presented with an opportunity to make enough money to support your family?
That was the decision faced by former NBA forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim after his freshman season at California in 1996.
He chose to go pro, but would return to school throughout his professional career and more so when he retired, culminating in his graduation this weekend.
Abdur-Rahim will graduate with a 3.8 GPA and a degree in sociology.
Though his case may be one of the exceptions to the general understanding of the one-and-done rule, it goes to prove a point. Sometimes players need to seize on the opportunities in front of them and return to their education later.
In his one season at California, Abdur-Rahim averaged 21.1 points per game, going on to be selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies with the 3rd overall pick in the 1996 draft.
During his NBA career with four teams, he averaged 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Check out the video package put together by Cal Athletics below:
- Two losses in a row? Three in 11 days? Oh well. Don’t give up on Kansas just yet 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Ten Most Disappointing Players 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Player of the Year Power Rankings 1
- College Basketball Talk’s Top 20 Most Improved Players 2
- College Hoops Week in Review: Wisconsin’s for real, and so is Chaz Williams 1
- Professor at center of UNC’s academic fraud case to face felony charges (8)
- No. 1 Michigan State’s loss to North Carolina: Injuries, or sign of a bigger issue? (5)
- Weekend Preview: Kentucky-Baylor, a trio of in-state rivalry games (3)
- Turnovers, rebounding woes plague No. 3 Kentucky again (3)
- Duke doesn’t need Rasheed Sulaimon if they have three guys that fit into a role (2)