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Did Cam Newton play basketball?: When the former NFL MVP returned to Auburn and played intramural basketball in 2013

Snehith Vemuri
|Wed Feb 23 2022

As far as Quarterbacks go, Cam Newton has always stood out as being incredibly athletic. Coupled with his height and frame, NFL fans have often wondered if the former MVP has a background in basketball.

Now that Cam Newton’s career is dwindling unfortunately towards its final few years, it’s easy to forget how he dominated the league not too long ago.

When he won the league MVP award back in 2015, it was characteristic of him to display impressive feats of athleticism, especially with his red-zone run game.

Seeing a player move the way that he did, it was only natural to question if Newton played any other sports seriously before pursuing football. Unlike many other QBs, the answer in Cam’s case is actually no.

Back in 2013, Newton sat down with ESPN to discuss his earlier years. “I quit baseball at 14 because I was afraid of the pitches,” he explained. “The kids started getting better and throwing faster, and it would’ve hurt getting hit by that ball, so I stopped playing. That left a void, so I started playing basketball in the eighth grade.”

“My mom always wondered how I could be afraid of a little baseball when I always had these huge guys chasing me,” he said. “It’s a good question.”

However, he gave up basketball not long after this. Apparently, because of his size, he would tend to foul out of games too early which led to him never really excelling at the sport. Consequently, he had his sights set solely on football from a pretty young age.

When Cam Newton returned to Auburn and played intramural basketball

Although Cam was never committed to playing basketball competitively, an interesting story relating to the sport did come out in 2013, when Newton returned to the Auburn campus to complete his degree.

According to The War Eagle Reader at the time, Newton was very much active during basketball games in the student section. But even more interesting was that he actually chose to participate in intramural basketball, mind you, while he was a professional football player already.

“A guy on my team was sitting on the bench and Kodi (Burns) walked up to him and asked if he could play with us. He said Cam will be here in a few,” a senior at Auburn said. “The team we played tonight didn’t show up to play. But they played some pick up games with us.”

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