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Top 25 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Mormons

There have been a ton of Christians that have made their way to the top of the athletic world, and it only makes sense because they make up more than 70 percent of the country’s population. One sub religion that doesn’t have a lot of members in terms of America’s percentage is Mormonism, which only boasts 1.6 percent of America’s people.

A lot of the athletes that are Mormon never end up making it to the pros, since going on a mission at ages 18 or 19 is commonplace. However, some end up holding off on those missions until after their professional careers are over. Some of them do indeed go on their missions, only to return home to pursue their pro careers. Not all of them make a huge splash in the pros, but it’s still interesting to see that choice being made.

Most of the Mormon athletes you see in the pros make their way through Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, first. This is the largest Mormon school in the country by far, and their athletic programs are always competitive. But which Mormons have had the best athletic careers? We have taken both college and professional careers into consideration to bring the 25 best, and here they are.

25 25. John Beck

via vancouversun.com

24 24. Ezekiel Ansah

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

23 23. Jimmer Fredette

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

22 22. Manti Te’o

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

21 21. Rulon Gardner

via nydailynews.com

20 20. Dennis Pitta

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

19 19. Ty Detmer

via nfl.com

18 18. Jabari Parker

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

17 17. Shawn Bradley

via thetallestman.com

16 16. Jacoby Ellsbury

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

15 15. Brett Keisel

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

14 14. Bryce Harper

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

13 13. Todd Heap

via wikimedia.org

12 12. Haloti Ngata

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

11 11. Todd Christensen

via ksl.com

10 10. Vern Law

via tvrage.com

9 9. Danny Ainge

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

8 8. Dale Murphy

via espn.com

7 7. Roy Halladay

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

6 6. Jeff Kent

via sacramento.cbslocal.com

5 5. Jack Morris

via startribune.com

4 4. Harmon Killebrew

via celebritydiagnosis.com

3 3. Dennis Eckersley

via thenationalpastimemuseum.com

2 2. Steve Young

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

1 1. Jack Dempsey

via britannica.com

The top Mormon athlete on our list comes from the boxing world, and you have to go way back to find any footage of him. Jack Dempsey was an icon during his heyday of the 1920s, known for packing a lot of power behind his punches and not letting up. Dempsey was a huge draw around the globe, and he held the World Heavyweight Championship for an impressive span of seven years from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey was named the greatest fighter of the first half of the 20th century, and was named to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1951. Dempsey is also the only athlete on our list to have a fish named after him, so that’s just the icing on the cake.

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Top 25 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Mormons