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Former NFL wide receiver Devin Funchess is working to achieve his new goal of making it to the NBA.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Funchess said he’s been playing with Statham Academy in the Asia Basket Dasmariñas Tournament as he continues his journey toward receiving an NBA deal.
“My end goal is the NBA, get a few seasons over there just like I did in the NFL. Just to be able to compete against the best players in the world, that’ll be a blessing to me,” he explained. “I’ve done it in the football realm already. And it’s nothing but dedication, repetition and just having fun.”
Funchess also said he’s been working with trainers and has played against former NBA All-Stars Amar’e Stoudemire and John Wall since making the move to basketball.
The 29-year-old first spoke about his plan to play professional basketball in December 2022 while talking to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports (h/t Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wire).
“When it comes to my love and my passion, I love the game of basketball. As in my transition from dwindling down in the NFL, being an eight-year vet, I’m still 28 years old. I can still go through something. I know I’d have to go overseas and play, get some film. But after that, my dream growing up was to play in the NBA. That’s my main goal and that’s what I’m gonna make happen.”
On Jan. 5, Robinson reported Funchess received an invite to a basketball combine in Atlanta that featured between 30-40 former NBA and Division I athletes.
Funchess recently joined the Statham Academy squad in the lead up to the AsiaBasket Championship.
A three-year player at the University of Michigan, Funchess was the 41st overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFL draft. He spent four seasons with the Panthers and one season with the Indianapolis Colts.
Since the 2020 season, Funchess has had stints with the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. He never appeared in a game for any of those teams. The Lions released him at the end of the preseason in 2022.
Funchess caught 164 passes for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns in 62 career NFL games.
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