Getting cut from a high school sports team can be devastating. But for some star athletes, it was just a bump on the road to greatness.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Many pro athletes like Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Stephen Curry actually got cut from their high school teams early in their careers. But they persisted and went on to become sports legends.

In this article, we’ll highlight the stories of 10 famous athletes who faced rejection but ultimately triumphed. We’ll cover their high school struggles, how they overcame them, and their paths to pro success and fame.

Michael Jordan

When it comes to famous athletes who were cut from their high school teams, one name that immediately comes to mind is Michael Jordan. Jordan, often regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, faced a setback early in his basketball career.

Got cut from varsity team as a sophomore

As a sophomore in high school, Jordan tried out for the varsity basketball team but was ultimately cut from the roster. This was a devastating blow for him, as he had dreams of playing at the highest level.

However, instead of letting this setback discourage him, Jordan used it as motivation to work even harder.

Practiced tirelessly and made varsity the next year

After being cut from the varsity team, Jordan spent countless hours practicing and honing his skills. He used this setback as an opportunity to improve and prove himself.

His hard work paid off, as he made the varsity team the following year and went on to have a successful high school basketball career.


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Went on to become the GOAT of basketball

Despite being cut from his high school team, Jordan didn’t let that define his basketball career. He went on to play at the collegiate level for the University of North Carolina, where he won a national championship.

After his college career, Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA Draft. The rest, as they say, is history. Jordan went on to win six NBA championships, five MVP awards, and numerous other accolades.

His impact on the game of basketball is undeniable, and he is often regarded as the greatest player to ever step foot on the court.

For more information about Michael Jordan’s incredible journey, you can visit

Tom Brady

Tom Brady, the legendary NFL quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had a humble beginning when it came to his high school football career. Despite his immense success in the NFL, Brady’s journey to stardom was not without its setbacks.

Sat on the bench until junior year

During his freshman and sophomore years at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California, Brady played as a backup quarterback and spent most of his time on the bench. It was a frustrating period for Brady, who had dreams of leading his team to victory.

Despite his limited playing time, Brady never gave up. He continued to work hard, honing his skills and waiting for his opportunity to shine. Little did he know that his perseverance would pay off in a big way.

Led his team to a championship as a senior

Brady’s breakthrough came during his senior year at Junipero Serra High School. Finally given the chance to start as the team’s quarterback, he seized the opportunity and led his team to an impressive championship victory.

His exceptional performance on the field caught the attention of college recruiters, and Brady was offered a scholarship to play football at the University of Michigan. This marked the beginning of his journey towards becoming one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

Drafted as a backup but became the greatest NFL quarterback

Despite his successful college career, Brady faced yet another setback when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. With little expectations as a backup quarterback, Brady had to prove himself once again.

But Brady’s determination, work ethic, and talent couldn’t be ignored. In his second season with the Patriots, he replaced the injured starting quarterback and never looked back. Brady went on to win six Super Bowl championships, earning himself the title of the greatest NFL quarterback of all time.


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Brady’s journey from being a high school benchwarmer to a Super Bowl champion is truly inspirational. It serves as a reminder that setbacks and rejections can fuel one’s drive to succeed. So the next time you face a setback, remember Tom Brady’s story and never give up on your dreams.

Stephen Curry

Too small and weak for high school team

Believe it or not, one of the greatest basketball players of our time, Stephen Curry, was initially deemed too small and weak to make his high school team. Standing at just 5’8″ and weighing 160 pounds, Curry faced numerous rejections and doubts about his abilities.

However, he refused to let these setbacks define him and instead used them as motivation to prove his critics wrong.

Grew and practiced shooting incessantly

Determined to make it in the basketball world, Stephen Curry dedicated himself to improving his skills. He spent countless hours in the gym, honing his shooting technique and developing his agility. Curry’s hard work paid off as he gradually grew in height and strength, eventually reaching 6’3″ and 185 pounds by the time he entered college.

Not only did Curry work on his physical attributes, but he also became known for his exceptional shooting abilities. He practiced shooting incessantly, often taking hundreds of shots each day. This relentless dedication to improving his craft allowed him to develop into one of the deadliest shooters in NBA history.

NBA superstar who revolutionized basketball

Today, Stephen Curry is a household name and one of the most influential players in the NBA. His extraordinary shooting range and ability to make seemingly impossible shots have revolutionized the game of basketball.

Curry’s impact extends beyond the court, as his style of play has inspired a new generation of young athletes to embrace long-range shooting and play with confidence.


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Throughout his career, Curry has achieved numerous accolades, including multiple NBA championships and Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards. His skills and achievements have earned him a place among the greatest basketball players of all time.

Stephen Curry’s journey from being cut from his high school team to becoming an NBA superstar serves as a powerful reminder that determination, hard work, and perseverance can overcome any obstacles.


Getting cut from a high school team is disappointing but not defining. As the stories of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Stephen Curry and others show, rejection can fuel greatness in the long run. With hard work and perseverance, any athlete can bounce back from a setback and achieve their dreams.

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