Professional Athletes from the Ivy League

BY
Tyler
Hollingsworth
|
December 9, 2021
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Ivy League universities are regarded as some of the world’s most prestigious academic and sporting institutions. Many of these universities pride themselves on the vast resources and teachings they offer. These encourage graduates to go on and potentially start revolutionary businesses or even become presidents of countries across the world. Entrepreneur and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and 44th President of the United States of America Barack Obama graduated from Princeton University and Harvard University, respectively, among many other reputable and influential alumni. Therefore, it might come as a surprise to think of Ivy League students as professional athletes.

Interestingly, Ivy League schools were originally rooted in athletics and as their athletic excellence grew, so did their academic standards. This placed them in a class of their own as the elite colleges and universities in the USA. It is safe to say that Ivy League schools are one of the biggest sporting fraternities in the world. It is no surprise, then, that many Ivy League athletes have gone on to professional sport. We've put together some of the most famous Ivy League professional athletes here!

Athletes From Across the Spectrum

Ivy League schools have gone on to produce professional athletes who compete in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and the Olympics. One such athlete is Gabby Thomas, a notable Harvard graduate that won Bronze in the women’s 200m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Similarly, Ashleigh Johnson, a Princeton University graduate, won Gold in the women's water polo. The Ivy League has also graduated Sarah Hughes, from Yale, a world champion figure skater.

The NFL

The NFL has had many successful players with Ivy League backgrounds. These include Matt Birk, All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens. Birk graduated with an Economics degree from Harvard. Kevin Boothe, Cornell University graduate, and Zak DeOssie, Brown University graduate, share similar accolades, both with degrees in Education and two Super Bowl rings under their belts with the New York Giants. In addition, noted journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick - currently of the Washington Football Team - graduated from Harvard as the Ivy League's most prolific quarterback ever.

The NBA

Linsanity, a term coined by the New York Knicks fans, is defined as "feelings of excitement caused by watching Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks basketball team." The Harvard graduate entered the NBA as the second-highest scoring point guard in Crimson history. The Linsanity era was birthed when Lin scored 38 points against Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers in February 2012. It became a month-long social media phenomenon as the Knicks "rode the hot hand" and Lin continued his good form. The University of Pennsylvania has produced 12 NBA players, including Corky Calhoun and Matt Maloney. In the modern era, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers player Chris Dudley is a Yale graduate. However, the most decorated Ivy League player is definitely Bill Bradley. Bradley, who was also a Rhodes scholar, who won two championships with the Knicks in the 70s.

The MLB

Major League Baseball and the Chicago Red Sox may have had the world’s smartest man in their organizations. At least, that is according to a Wall Street Journal article. Craig Breslow graduated from Yale University with a 3.5 GPA, where he majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Likewise, Princeton University produced Red Sox pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, and New York Mets pitcher Chris Young.

The NHL

Ivy League Universities have produced 19 NHL players, most famously with George Parros of the Ducks graduating from Princeton. Matt Moulson and four other NHL players graduated from Cornell University while Ben Lovejoy of the Penguins graduated from Dartmouth along with six other league players. 

The Ivy League has produced many professional athletes who have played their respective sports at the highest level all while holding a degree from a prestigious institution giving them a steady foundation for their life after sports. We hope to see our very own Aspire Atlantic athlete and Dartmouth Goalkeeper, Costi Christodoulou added to this list in a few years.

Remember, it’s always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!

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Softball player

NDABENHLE SIBIYA ON NOVEMBER 21, 2020 AT 2:00 PM (Edit)

You don’t join GPA, it a scoring used by American education. Just like we use APS scoring in south africa

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Softball player

NDABENHLE SIBIYA ON NOVEMBER 21, 2020 AT 2:00 PM (Edit)

You don’t join GPA, it a scoring used by American education. Just like we use APS scoring in south africa

REPLY
Softball player

NDABENHLE SIBIYA ON NOVEMBER 21, 2020 AT 2:00 PM (Edit)

You don’t join GPA, it a scoring used by American education. Just like we use APS scoring in south africa

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