Seven Celebrities Who Were College Athletes!

Sports are something we root for, watch and participate in, and celebrities are no different. Here are seven well-known figures who were college athletes!

You have to start somewhere and that can sometimes mean having a different passion!

From college athletes to actors, talk show hosts and news anchors, these celebrity figures were first well-known in the world of sports.

Robin Roberts

From the basketball court to reporting for ESPN to ABC’s Good Morning America, infamous American broadcaster Robin Roberts has done it all! She attended Southeastern Louisiana University studying communications and played on the school’s basketball team, The Lions. Let’s hear her rawr! Roberts was a force to be reckoned with as she finished her career as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers and rebounders. But that’s not all! In 2006, she was named one of the NCAA’s 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes. Roberts still loves the game and even had the opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Lucia Harris, also known as The Queen of Basketball. Additionally, she served as the ESPN Studio Host for the NCAA Women’s Final Four.


Emma Watson

Kicking ass and taking names, let’s hear it for Emma Watson! Swapping out her magical wand for a field hockey stick? That is exactly what the Harry Potter star did. She attended Brown University and in 2010, decided to join their field hockey team. Watson always had a passion for hockey as she started playing at a young age in England for Rover Oxford. Her parents might have had something to do with her love for the sport, for they both participated in it. Watson states that the game made her feel a sense of belonging. A couple of years ago, she surprised children in East London, teaching them some of her signature field hockey moves!


Dr. Phil

Catch him outside, how about that! Before Dr. Phil was the talk show host we know him as today, he was padded up taking hits on the football field. Dr. Phil was awarded a scholarship to play football at the University of Tulsa. It was then he played middle linebacker for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team. It was no walk in the park for the television psychologist. He remembers waking up at the crack of dawn, running the stairs of Skelly Stadium in full gear. Interestingly enough, he participated in one of the wildest games in college football history in which they lost 100-6 to the University of Houston. Guess you could say it changed him!


2 Chainz

“Before any of the fame, before any of the rapping, we was playing basketball. All day everyday basketball.” 2 Chainz, also known as Tauheed Epps, has a few talents up his sleeve. One of which is excelling in basketball. He played a full season of Division I basketball at Alabama State. 2 Chainz was a multifaceted player, playing point guard, shooting guard and small forward. In one game against Alcorn State, he scored 14 points and seven rebounds in only 10 minutes. Former coach Clayton Harris said that in some instances, 2 Chainz reminded him of NBA Hall of Famer George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin. Over a decade later, he released a song titled “NCAA” a part of his Rap or Go to the League album.


Bradley Cooper

“There is a fierce, fierce fire in that guy.” Picture Bradley Cooper in a small boat, racing for a medal. And no, this is not the plot of one of his iconic movies! Did you know that dream hunk Cooper had other passions and aspirations before acting? He attended Georgetown University majoring in English and was a part of the Georgetown Hoyas crew team. During one particular season, their team, who undoubtedly were the underdogs, nearly beat Minnesota in the Dad Vail Regatta. They received a silver medal and concluded it to be the best race ever rowed. Cooper’s coach deemed him one of the most fierce and competitive guys he’s ever trained.


Ellie Kemper

Similar to Emma Watson, Ellie Kemper was also a field hockey player in college, at Princeton University. While it is said that she was a benchwarmer and fueled her teammates with water, let’s not discredit the fact that she never gave up! She persevered and was determined to play. Kemper confronted her coach, Kelly Troy about playing time and her progress on the team. Her coach said, “Ellie, you have the tools. But you are having trouble building the house.” While it may not have been the answer she wanted to hear, at least Kemper was strong and assertive. Nevertheless, during her freshman year, the team placed second in the NCAA Division I National Championship!


Carl Weathers

Big, strong and athletic! From the boxing ring and golf course to the football field! While Carl Weathers is known to be an athletic competitor in his movies, that is not far from his reality. He attended San Diego State on a football scholarship and majored in Theatre Arts. Coming in at 6 foot 2 inches and 220 pounds; Weathers was the Aztecs defensive end. He stated that all of his coaches were extremely important in college because they taught him the value of leadership and generosity. Not only was Weathers a college athlete, but later went on to play in the NFL. Although short-lived to pursue his film career, he signed with the Oakland Raiders for the 1970-71 season. There he made the switch to linebacker.


Who were you most surprised to see play at a collegiate level? Let us know on Twitter @AfterBuzzTV!

About the Author

Courtney McGinley

Courtney McGinley is a student at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism focusing on TV Reporting and minoring in Business.