Why didn't streetball legend The Professor make it to the NBA?

Joshua Rogers August 23, 2022
Why didn't streetball legend The Professor  make it to the NBA?
Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

After Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1 arrived on Netflix, fans wanted to know why streetball legend The Professor never made it to the NBA?

The latest instalment of Netflix’s Untold sports documentary series is here with The Rise and Fall of AND1, which dropped on August 23.

The Netflix’s documentary chronicles how a graduate school project partnership between Jay Coen Gilbert, Seth Berger, and Tom Austin became the AND1 brand, one of America’s most popular sportswear brands in the 1990s and 2000s.

A number of brand ambassadors and streetball legends appear in the documentary, including The Professor, who is one of the most successful streetballers in the country.

Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Untold: The Rise and Fall of AND1 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Who is The Professor?

Grayson Boucher aka The Professor was born on June 10, 1984, Keizer, Oregon. Boucher started off playing basketball for the Salem Stampede of the International Basketball League as well as the Atlanta Krunk of the Continental Basketball Association.

As a teenager, he attended the AND1 Mixtape Tour when the team stopped in his hometown Portland and ended up earning a role on the team.

He became one of the AND1 Mixtape Tour’s most famous streetballers and travelled the world with the brand, appearing in various commercials, mix tapes and videos.

Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

There are three reasons that kept him from going pro

The Professor has some of the sickest handles and downright disrespectful moves you could ever wish to see. He has made a career out of breaking his opponent’s ankles and making it look easy.

Given his dazzling skillset, many fans wanted to know why The Professor never made it to the NBA.

Well, in the words of the man himself, it’s down to three things: lack of credentials, politics, and passion for streetball.

Why The Professor didn’t make it to the NBA, in his own words

During a Facebook Live in 2021, The Professor revealed why he never made it to the NBA.

“First off, I never had the resume for the NBA,” Boucher said on his official Facebook page. “In order to play in the NBA without Division One NCAA college basketball in your resume or without Division One overseas basketball in your resume, it’s gonna be like impossible. I gave up my college eligibility as soon as I signed to play for money.”

“The second thing I’ll say is, the politics of the game were never on my side,” he continued. “15, 20 years ago, when I was actually first getting on and trying to make the NBA, I played in some minor leagues (IBL and CBA). No matter how well I played, the politics were never on my side. The higher-ups in the NBA looked at streetball as like ‘not real basketball,’ like a bad thing.”

“The third thing that I would say, and this could come as a surprise to many, is that I wouldn’t accept an NBA contract right now. I like what I do because this thing isn’t even about money,” he added. “It’s about inspiring and impacting the people and really just having a passion for what I do. And right now my passion is like to make dope a** videos for people.”

You can watch the full interview below:

What is Grayson Boucher doing now, in 2022?

Thankfully, it all worked out well for The Professor.

Although he still plays a ton of streetball, he has transitioned into the world of acting, appearing in the film Semi-Pro, starring Will Ferrell, as well as the film Ball Don’t Lie.

More recently, Boucher appeared in Adam Sandler’s Netflix film Hustle. In the film he played Bo Cruz’ (Juancho Hernangomez) dribbling tutor.

His YouTube channel, Professor Live, has over 6.88m followers. A recent video of his features him talking about his cameo as well as playing streetball with Adam Sandler.

Grayson also has over 4.4m followers on Instagram where he often shares footage of himself flat-out embarrassing people on the court:

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.