He’s been known to refer to himself as being “not famous,” but former NBA player Adrian Dantley indeed has built a name for himself, including as an NBA Hall of Famer — one who went from fame and fortune to an average day job as a school crossing guard.
In 1992, Dantley left professional basketball to give back to his community. He found himself as a school crossing guard, earning a modest salary of around $14,000 per year.
During his NBA career, he reportedly earned $3.5 million, The U.S. Sun reported.
Throughout his 15-year NBA career, Dantley earned such accolades as the Mr. Basketball USA award and two NBA scoring titles.
After retiring from professional basketball, Dantley embarked on a coaching journey in schools around Maryland. However, it is his latest role as a school crossing guard that truly stands out. He took up a role in Silver Spring, Maryland, coaching young players and helping out with different roles across Northwood High School. The job paid just $14,685 a year. Part of the job was being a crossing guard for two hours a day, helping the kids to safely cross the busy streets near the school.
When once asked by ABC News in 2013 why he chose such a humble job, Dantley responded plainly, “It’s not beneath me! I’m a regular guy. I just played basketball. I’m a Hall of Famer, but I’m a regular guy. I like working. I do it to be beside the kids. I’ve definitely saved two kids’ lives [on the crossing].”
Despite his legendary status in the world of basketball, the six-time All-Star humbly states, “I’m not famous. I’m just a crossing guard.”
There is no word if the 68-year-old Dantley, who has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million, is still working at Northwood High School.
Dantley’s NBA Stardom
During his time in the NBA, he played for seven different teams, with his longest stint with the Utah Jazz. He also played with the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Italy Breeze before he retired.
His impressive career statistics include 23,177 points, ninth on the NBA career scoring list at the time of retirement; a .540 field-goal percentage, one of the highest ever recorded by an NBA non-center; and 30-plus points per game for four straight seasons.
Dantley, who also earned a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics, worked as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets, spending eight years in Colorado.
Time for Reflection
Earlier this year, Dantley returned to Utah to make a pre-All-Star game appearance, where he had a successful run as a member of the Utah Jazz basketball team. Having his No. 4 jersey retired in 2008 and hanging in the rafters of Vivint Arena, he reflected on his basketball journey and the remarkable transformation into a role that brings him genuine fulfillment.
“It feels pretty good, feels pretty good,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune seeing his jersey hanging. “Took a while to get there, but it finally got there.”