Miami Heat forward Shane Battier told ESPN’s Grantland that he was approached by the Michigan Democratic Party about possibly running to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). Battier was born and raised in Birmingham, a suburb of Detroit.
“Battier is nearing retirement now, and he can no longer shoot, dribble or defend like the once did,” said the Grantland article that was published Tuesday. “The Michigan Democratic Party recently called him to see if he might consider a run to replace U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Battier said.”
Josh Pugh, communication’s director for the Michigan Democratic Party, said “Like many fans of basketball and politics, we at the Michigan Democratic Party were surprised to hear Shane Battier mentioned for the first time this afternoon as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate. Michigan Democrats are united behind a great candidate in Congressman Gary Peters, and we wish Battier the best in his impending retirement from professional basketball.”
Asked if Battier was approached about running for Senate, a Democratic official from Michigan, speaking of the condition of anonymity, said he can’t “categorically rule it out,” but was “not aware of anyone doing that.”
Battier is a rare NBA player who spent four years in college, graduating from Duke in 2001 with a degree in Comparative Religion. He was the Academic All-American of the year and was voted the 7th smartest professional athlete by The Sporting News in 2010.
In 2011, Battier told Yahoo Sports about post-basketball plans, “I’ve always loved to teach. I could see myself as a teacher helping young people in some capacity… I’ve always thought about teaching a life skills class. There’s so much common sense that kids never learn these days, like how to balance a checkbook, how to look over a mortgage lease… Teach them skills that would really make a difference in their lives.”
This is not the first time Battier and politics were combined in the same sentence.
When he played for the Houston Rockets in 2011, coach Rick Adelman was asked about Battier becoming a teacher. “That’s typical, Shane is a unique individual in this league. I’d be very, very surprised if he doesn’t do something that’s going to benefit everybody else. I keep telling him he’ll be president some day. That’s just the type of person he is. I think he’s really got his head on straight.”
Battier has said he will retire when is contract is up at the end of this season.
[Image via nba.com]