Former Panthers WR Makes History After Signing Professional Basketball Contract

Devin Funchess is starting to make some noise in the pro hoops scene as he signed a deal in Colombia.
Nov 4, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) on the field
Nov 4, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) on the field / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Carolina Panthers Devin Funchess was a playmaker on the gridiron as he had a couple of good seasons in Carolina. 

The former second-round pick spent four seasons with the Panthers before playing one more year in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. Funchess participated in the preseason with the Green Bay Packers before opting out of the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he resurfaced in the NFL in 2022 on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad.

Since then, Funchess has decided to take up a new sport and he’s been making some waves with it. The 29-year-old receiver is now playing professional basketball as he signed a contract with the Caribbean Storm Llaneros of the Professional Colombia Basketball League.

Panthers News: Former WR Devin Funchess Signs Basketball Contract

With Funchess joining the Caribbean Storm Llaneros, he became the first NFL player to sign a professional basketball contract. Before lacing up his sneakers in Colombia, Funchess played with Statham Academy in the 2023 AsiaBasket Dasmarinas Championship Game.

Funchess told CBS Sports’ Shanna McCarriston that one of the promises he made to his grandfather, James Hester, was to play professional basketball. The other two were to win a Super Bowl and become a farmer.

The former Panthers wide receiver also told McCarriston that he’s looking forward to a couple of open tryouts with two NBA G League teams (the Ontario Clippers and the Greensboro Swarm).

Funchess still has a long way to go in his basketball journey. But seeing the former NFL wide receiver find love for the game of basketball and pursue his dream is cool. The former Panthers receiver has already accomplished one goal by signing a professional contract. If he can make an NBA G League team that would be outstanding.

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