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:
- Butler upsets No. 5 North Carolina in Battle 4 Atlantis opener 2
- If No. 12 Villanova doesn’t have a star on their roster, no one told JayVaughn Pinkston 0
- JayVaughn Pinkston’s block gives No. 12 Villanova a win over No. 19 Michigan (VIDEO) 2
- Maryland upsets No. 13 Iowa State as fearless freshmen mix with gritty veterans for balanced effort 3
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s selflessness during the Maui Invitational will help No. 3 Arizona in the long run 0
- Player of the Year Power Rankings: A familiar face on top, but a few surprises behind him 0
- Ricky Doyle secures 70-63 win for No. 19 Michigan over Oregon in Legends Classic 0
- Poll: 54 percent of people think Kentucky beats the 76ers, 54 percent of people are dumb (31)
- Villanova’s win is evidence of why VCU may have peaked as a basketball program (14)
- Michigan’s John Beilein rips ESPN for late tip time during Tuesday’s loss (13)
- Rick Pitino on blow out win: ‘We played four white guys and an Egyptian’ (12)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest top 25: Kentucky reigns, but how far will Kansas, Florida slide? (5)