Trent Toone">

All-time list of returned LDS missionaries in professional sports

Published: Tuesday, May 22 2012 9:30 p.m. MDT

Deseret News archives
More and more members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are serving 2-year missions and returning to compete at the highest levels of professional sports. This is a list of 65 current and past Latter-day Saint athletes who served missions and played in the NBA, NFL MLB and other professional sports leagues. The list was compiled in connection with Sports Illustrated's cover story on Jabari Parker, who is considering serving a mission. If you think of someone we have missed, we invite you to email us at
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

No time to go through the whole list one at a time. Made it to number 2.

Red Leader
Bountiful, UT

This list left quite a few people off. And It really would be much more convenient for the reader if it was presented as a list in an article and not as a slideshow... are the numbers meant to be rankings?


Agree, this slideshow format is not helpful. If they continue to be presented this way I will probably not have time to go through them. Not a user-friendly format.

Vernal, UT

Addition: Craig Patterson; played for the Arizona Cardinals for two years sometime in the late eighties or early nineties. Served in Hawaii.

Kearns, UT

Slide show = more page views which means more advertisements shown. Now you know the reason why it's not gonna change. :/

Cedar Hills, UT

not a big list. Very hard to come back from a mission and push the restart button athletically.

Saratoga Springs, UT

a more impressive list would be those who could have been professional athletes but chose to live their LDS faith and keep the Sabbath holy.

Waianae, HI

Thank you for the list and you made your point. Some of the Careers where very short and not enough time to be vested for a pension. The two years missed does take its toll. However it is a personal choice. The more passive the sport the more likely the career will be longer. Of course you cannot discount injury.

We had a Missionary who would have been all pro NFL if only he had not twisted his knee and then come back to play college ball to soon. We got him at about 25. Good hard work Missionary all day long.


Didn't see too many people that I recognized by name. Not sure how big they were in professional sports but more power to them.

ogden, ut

Interesting. The writers last name is Toone, yet he missed Tim Toone, Mr. Irrelevant, Detriot Lions and now with Denver. I think he served somewhere in the ivory coast. I know he is an RM not sure of location.

Agua Dulce, TX

BYU won't play on Sundays but you celebrate Mormon athletes who do. Kind of hypocritical.

Logan, UT

Gary Wilkinson - Plays for the New Zealand Breakers served in Alberta Canada

Spencer Neilson - Plays for CB Gran Canaria served in Oklahoma

Tai Wesley - Plays for the EiffleTowers in the Dutch Basketball League served Oaxaca, Mexico

Jaycee Carroll - Plays for Real Madrid served in Chile

and these are just basketball players out of Utah State in the past 5 years. It seems your complete list is pretty incomplete.

Lafayette, IN

Nice list, but the page programming needs some help. Clicking the “Next” or “Previous” button doesn’t do anything unless I refresh the page.

Blanding, UT

re happymomto9
what a said commentary on our religion. we are taught to not judge. do you question the faithfulness of doctors,emts, police and others that work on sundays as well? I am sure many on this list still lead faithful lds lives. do you think that maybe those on the list made the choice without praying, fasting and speaking with their bishops and or stake president? Is it possible that they even have killings and temple reccomends?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

slideshow is a disservice. Why not a LIST like the headline reads?


No Jimmer? Ha

Calgary AB, 00

What? Running for President of The United States isn't considered a professional sport?

Salem, UT

Good article. I enjoyed the info but must agree that I would have prefered a one-page list.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Was Steve Young on the list? Mark Wilson? Gifford Nielsen? And these are the easy ones.

Who came up with this list and why did the Editor approve it for publication???

Danville, KY

I think I recognized 2 of them.

Highland, UT

Wow. Nice list some I never knew about. Loads of NFL players. It was cool to see the players on MLB and the All-Blacks.

The remark about playing on Sunday- are you kidding? Nearly every job requires at sometime, you to work on Sundays. This just happens to be the day they must earn there keep.

Judge not...right.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Greg Clark (#59 on the list) may have been called to Chile, he served in the Illinois Peoria Mission.

to comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments