Famous Basketballer Pretended to Pursue a Career in Dental Hygiene to Transfer to Basketball Team

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There are many ways sportspeople have found their way into opportunities, but for famous basketball player Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, it was an interest in dental hygiene, albeit an exaggerated one, that got him his opportunity to play for the best high school basketball team of the era, Dunbar High in Maryland.

Bogues, the shortest ever player in the NBA, was interviewed for the ESPN documentary series 30 for 30 about the history of the Dunbar Poets, considered to be one of the greatest high school basketball teams ever, but how he even made it into the team was an even more outlandish story. At the time, Baltimore’s zoning policies didn’t allow Bogues to go to Dunbar school despite it being housed across the street, and despite petitioning the school they repeated rejected his requests. That is until Muggsy and Dunbar’s Coach Wade found an interesting loophole.

Bogues recalls that Baltimore public high schools would allow a student to transfer to any school in the locality in order to pursue a course that wasn’t offered at the school they either attended or were going to attend. Dunbar had courses in dental technology that were found nowhere else in the Baltimore school system so Bogues made the argument that he wanted to become a dental hygienists.

Bogues noted later that everyone else knew that he wasn’t going to Dunbar “to clean teeth”, and once he made it into the school he became a vital part of the Poets’ squads and would eventually make it to the NBA.

It is interesting to think that a legendary career, which also included a role in Space Jam, could not have happened if his school of choice didn’t happen to offer courses in dentistry.



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