Devin Funchess Sparking New Pro Sports Trend?


Although the NBA and WNBA may still remain the pinnacle of pro ball for most fans, there are plenty of other thriving leagues globally.

The Basketball League of Colombia made history last month when former NFL player Devin Funchess signed a historic one-year pro contract with Colombian team Caribbean Storm. The deal made Funchess the first ever former NFL player to move into pro basketball. 

It also sparked debate among supporters as to whether this might be a sign of things to come. Trends, after all, are a recurring theme across the sport of basketball. This is easy to see when you look at trends in terms of playing styles or how fans view games. NBA point spread betting is another illustration of this and is a trend within basketball betting that has really taken off. This now sees the spread betting markets for NBA games attract the same level of attention as moneyline or props wagers.

But who is Devin Funchess and can his Caribbean Storm contract really pave the way for others to follow? 

Who is Devin Funchess and why has he switched to pro ball? 

For sports fans who are mainly into the NBA and WNBA, Devin Funchess may not be a name that is overly familiar. He is a former wide receiver for multiple NFL teams that include the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers. 

Funchess was initially picked up by the Panthers in the 2015 NFL Draft but he never made his mark with them before leaving as a free agent in 2018. A move to the Colts came after this but his career there didn’t get going either due to a collarbone injury sustained shortly after signing. The Packers then picked him up in the 2020 offseason, before he was released the following season and signed with the Detroit Lions as a tight end in 2022. 

As his NFL career began to wind down, though, he changed his focus to establishing himself as a pro basketball player. This is not actually a shock when comments made by Funchess in 2022 are considered, where he talked about his love for basketball.

Will the Funchess deal start a new trend in basketball? 

There is no doubt that this deal has made headlines – but could it be the start of another new trend in basketball and pro sports? Much of this will rest on how successful Funchess is as a pro baller and how many other professional athletes from other sports feel inspired to follow his lead. 

If Funchess emerges as a star player for the Storm and blazes a trail for others to follow, he could be the first of many. This would mark a real change for how professional athletes are able to move between sports like football and basketball. 

Is the NBA next for Funchess?

The deal to bring Devin Funchess to South America has certainly caused a stir in basketball circles – but is the NBA realistically the next stop for him? 

At 6-foot-4 and 225 lbs, Funchess certainly has the physicality to compete at the top level of global basketball. You would also think that his experience of elite-level sport as a pro footballer would equip him well to deal with the mental side of playing in the NBA. 

He has also put in some serious groundwork to transition into life as a pro baller. This included honing his skills initially at the Statham Academy in Santa Clarita, California, before spending time on court for the Ibaraki Robots in the Japanese Basketball League. This could set him up perfectly to play in the NBA and mean he has the required skillset to make the latest NBA news in a positive way. 

Funchess has also gone on record to confirm that his main goal is to play in the NBA and that is what he’s working towards. Much of what happens next, though, will rest on just what kind of impression he makes playing in Colombia. With the 30-year-old confirming this is the first step on his journey towards the NBA, you shouldn’t be surprised to see him turning out soon. 

There is no doubt that Devin Funchess becoming the first former NFL player to sign a pro basketball contract was historic news. This has left fans wondering if it’s a sign of things to come. Although players have been careful to focus on one sport over their careers in the past, the Funchess deal may well change this and lead to more transitions between sports.

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