School is cool – Notable athletes who returned for their college degrees

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, you are aware that these are uncertain times. But for future graduates, these are also disappointing times. COVID-19 forced the Class of 2020 to miss an important milestone: graduation day.

The inability to host face-to-face opening ceremonies (due to social detachment guidelines) is a situation that resonated with the NBA star Lebron James. On Saturday, King James is helping to broadcast a prime time TV special, "Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020", to commemorate students whose graduations have been canceled. The show will feature a number of celebrities, ranging from Megan Rapinoe to the Jonas Brothers.


James said that his decision to get involved in the event was a no-brainer, explaining: "The end of high school and graduation were one of the best memories of my life. It's not fair. Every graduate needs to know how much we feel for them, and I hope that helps, even a little bit. This class will be special because they really know how to persevere ".

With all the talk about graduation, we couldn't help but think of the athletes who tried their best to graduate from college.


As the mercurial Kanye West once said, "I know I'm a fool, but I promise I'll go back to school … I appreciate what you allowed me to do. I just want you to be proud of me."

To my knowledge, none of these athletes was a fool, but the feeling remains.

Despite their incredible athletic prowess that allowed them to become professional at an early age, all of these superstars kept their promises – for themselves and loved ones – to return to campus to earn their degrees:

Aaron Donald


If you thought Aaron Donald peaked when he earned 99 points at Madden, think again. O Los Angeles Rams the star, two-time defensive NFL player of the year and six times Pro Bowler were added to his resume in April, when he officially became a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. Donald, who ended his career at Pitt in 2013 and was chosen in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, pledged to finish school and graduate in communication.


Troy Polamalu

He celebrated NFL security Troy Polamalu started studying at the University of Southern California in 1999. He was ashamed to finish his history course when he was recruited by Pittsburgh Steelers in 2003. At age 30, Polamalu used the NFL block as an opportunity to complete a long-term goal. After graduating in 2011, the eight-time Pro Bowler wrote on his website: "I decided to finish what I started and went up today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education., And that nothing should replace it. "

Marcus Stroman

In May 2016, Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman lost an infamous bank clearing fight between his team and the Texas rangers because he had a more pressing matter to deal with, namely, graduating from Duke University. Stroman finished the job required to earn his sociology degree while recovering from an ACL injury. "I never thought I would say that I am grateful for breaking my ACL, but it is because I grew up so much as an individual. I managed to graduate and strengthened myself mentally, physically, with all this." I'm in a great position now and it has a lot to do with the summer I had at Duke University, "he said.

Jordan Bone

Nothing says Class 2020 as a surprise virtual graduation ceremony. When Detroit Pistons Jordan Bone went to SportsCenter for the "Feel Good Friday" segment; it was in disguise that he was getting some recognition for the Mother's Day surprise: the former Vols star finished his college degree in secret during the past year and surprised his mother, Karen, with the Mother's Day news. Instead, he ended up graduating from the University of Tennessee on the air.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton promised his mother, Jackie, that he would graduate from college, even before he arrived to lead the Auburn Tigers in 2010. The Heisman Trophy winner remained true to his word. Newton graduated in 2015, although he did not cross the stage, citing the desire to stay focused on other graduates. Respect. The old one Carolina Panthers quarterback elaborated on why his sociology degree meant so much to him: "I want to own my own nursery. I think sociology has done me a lot of good in understanding different people and attitudes, studying people and, I hope, paying dividends to long term ".

Venus Williams

Venus Williams, tennis star and exaggeration. In 2007, Williams obtained an associate's degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. In 2015, she also graduated in business administration from Indiana University East. Williams completed his online courses and was able to make a stop on campus to pick up his diploma while traveling to play at the Western Southern Open.

Shaquille O & # 39; Neal

Shaquille O & # 39; Neal left college early to pursue his NBA career. Eight years later, the Great Aristotle graduated from LSU. Phil Jackson and the Los Angeles Lakers agreed that 'Neal would lose a game in order to receive his diploma. University Chancellor Mark A. Emmert said at the time: "I would like to thank Mr. O & # 39; Neal for dramatically increasing the starting salary of this group of graduates." The chancellor has jokes. In 2012, Shaq obtained a doctorate in education from Barry University, and Dr. O & # 39; Neal was added to his long list of nicknames.

Michael Jordan

GOAT never slept on the importance of education. Michael Jordan studied at Chapel Hill before being drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984. Despite his legendary NBA success, Jordan returned to UNC to finish his bachelor's degree in geography. "My dad used to say it is never too late to do what you want," he told The New York Times. "And he said, & # 39; You never know what you can accomplish until you try. & # 39;"

Michelle Kwan

This is Michelle Kwan, master of international relations for you. The two-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion took her first classes at UCLA in the fall of 1999, before leaving to focus on her figure skating career. In 2009, Kwan graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor's degree in international studies. The beloved icon continued his education, earning a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 2011.

Vince Carter

May 20, 2001, was an equally joyful and disastrous day for Vince Carter. It all started with Carter fulfilling a promise to his mother and accepting his college degree at the University of North Carolina. He ended up missing a potential game winner in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Philadelphia. When the 76ers eliminated yours Toronto Raptors, fans were quick to question (read: tirelessly criticize) Vinsanity’s decision.

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