May 21, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT
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:
- Re-ranking recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2005? 1
- Re-ranking recruiting classes: Who are the 25 best players from the Class of 2004? 2
- Bo Ryan to retire from Wisconsin after next season 4
- Who are the names to watch for the 2016 NBA Draft? 2
- 2015 NBA Draft: The six biggest question marks moving forward 5
- 2015 NBA Draft: Pat Connaughton, Montrezl Harrell headline list of second round steals 0
- Karl-Anthony Towns becomes Kentucky’s third top overall pick in program history 1
- UPDATED: 2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too-Early Preseason Rankings (18)
- Cliff Alexander, Aaron Harrison among early entrants not selected Thursday night (6)
- 2015 NBA Draft: The six biggest question marks moving forward (5)
- Jamal Murray’s commitment a huge boost for Kentucky (4)
- Bo Ryan to retire from Wisconsin after next season (4)