It’s no secret that Bostonians are crazy about their sports. With the tremendous amount of attention our baseball, basketball, football, and hockey teams have garnered in the the past decade, its no wonder that our top athletes quickly become on par with major celebrities when it comes to name recognition, creating headlines, and developing a fan base. In an age where the average person can become a known around the country through the plethora of reality shows we’re bombarded with, the crossover potential for a talented athlete to have success in movies or TV is a formula that many seem to be enjoying lately.
Celtics star shooting guard Ray Allen began his college career at the University of Connecticut, departing after his junior year to pursue a career in the NBA. Before joining the Celtics in 2007, the All-star starred in a number of films, including Spike Lee’s He Got Game, and Harvard Man.
During his brief stint as a Celtic, Shaquille O’Neal continued to host his popular TV series, “Shaq vs.” The larger than life athlete with the personality to match has been prolific in terms of his TV and movie appearances throughout his career, and just recently wrapped a film entitled Jack and Jill, costarring Katie Holmes and Adam Sandler.
John Cena, who was born in West Newbury, MA, got his start as a professional wrestler, began venturing into new territory with a part in the drama by WWE Films called Brother’s Keeper in 2009. He’s gone on to have roles in a variety of movie and TV projects, including The Reunion, which is due out this year.
Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady, though admittedly possessing the good looks required of most television and film actors, has thus far stayed away from any major roles in either of those arenas, save for a cameo in Stuck on You, costarring Massachusetts native Matt Damon in 2003, and a very successful hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” in 2005.
Recent addition to the Patriots, Chad Ochocinco, has had his own experiences in the television spotlight, with appearances on shows like “Cubed,” “The Mo ‘Nique Show,” “X-Play,” “The League,” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
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