By Luis Petty |Staff Writer|
National Basketball Association player Erik Swoope will be entering his name in the National Football League draft this May, according to USA Today.
Many professional athletes attempt to make the jump to another sport, however a majority of these athletes fail to find success in their new sport.
Regardless of the sport athletes play, they must have natural talent and show it during their careers.
In past decades only three professional athletes have become successful in more than one professional sport. Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, and Jim Thorpe have success in a multitude of sports, according to NBA correspondent John Degroote.
Deion Sanders played cornerback in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys among other teams. He was drafted in major league baseball while still playing professional football.
Bo Jackson also played professional football and became an all-star player in major league baseball.
Jim Thorpe played three professional sports: football, basketball and baseball. He also participated in the Olympics, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy in the summer of 1912.
However, not all professional athletes can make the transition to other sports.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan never truly flourished as a major league baseball player.
“I’m excited to enter my name in the NFL Draft and pursue a professional football career,” stated Swoope on his Twitter page this April.
Swoope is gaining recognition for his decision to play professional football. He is often compared to Jimmy Graham, who plays for the New Orleans Saints and made a similar transition to football.
However, Swoope never played football at the collegiate level. Graham, on the other hand, played four years of college basketball, one year of football and has become a valuable asset as a tight end for the Saints.
Although Swoope is a professional athlete, basketball and football require a different set of skills
Basketball is a sport that requires strength, agility, and moments of explosive talent.
Football, On the other hand, is a contact sport that demands power, stamina and sheer strength to overcome the opponent.
This change in skills will present a challenging obstacle for Swoope to overcome.
Swoope’s athleticism was apparent in professional basketball, but his skills are entirely different from the training required for professional football players, which Swoope has yet to develop.
Swoope has the ideal height to play football, but may fall short of the weight needed to play the sport.
He weighed 220 pounds, and later lost another 20 pounds during his senior season, according to Miami’s official website.
According to Brent Sobleski, writer for USA Today, “If Swoope can gain weight and play at 240 to 250 pounds, he would be a much more effective player in professional football and a much more intense contender for the upcoming draft.”
Although there can be a general skepticism of professional athletes who are making a leap to a different sport, Swoope shows legitimate interest in playing professional football and could perhaps succeed at two major sports.
“Erik Swoope privately worked out for Denver last week; not the Nuggets—the Broncos. He’s serious about this NFL shot,” stated Tim Reynolds an AP sports writer this April.
Having a new trend like NBA players and NFL players come into other leagues like the NBA, shows that we have talented athletes in various parts of major league sports and they are will to stretch their talents as far as they are able to take them.