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10 Country Singers Who Were Athletes

Matthew Stockman /Allsport and Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Country music and sports seem to go hand-in-hand. Maybe that's why there are so many country singers who used to play sports in school or even professionally.

While we know Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith were football players back in the day, here are 10 country stars you may not know for their athletic talents.

1. Garth Brooks

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
9 Mar 2000: Garth Brooks #1 of the New York Mets autographes fans baseballs during the Spring Training Game against the Houston Astros at Olceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

After becoming a country music megastar, Brooks was a celebrity guest during spring training for the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals. He managed to go 2-for-42 against Major League pitching,.

2. Conway Twitty

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
MEMPHIS - CIRCA 1958: American country music singer and member of the Country Music and Rockabilly Halls of Fame, Conway Twitty in Memphis, TN, circa 1958. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)

This country legend was almost a professional baseball player. Twitty was incredibly close to playing for the Philadelphia Phillies after playing baseball in high school. He was drafted into the Korean War before he could join the team and never returned to the sport.

3. Kip Moore

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Moore was a multi-talented athlete growing up. The "Dirt Road" singer attended Wallace State College in Alabama on a basketball scholarship. Then, after two years, he transferred to Valdosta State University in Georgia to play on their golf team. Moore continued to stay active after he graduated, moving to Hawaii where he spent his time backpacking and surfing.

4. Kenny Rogers

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Kenny Rogers watches the action at Rod Laver Arena during day 11 of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

A little known fact about Rogers -- he's a true tennis ace. In fact, he was a professional-level player for 10 years. "I developed a national ranking while I was on the road playing with Wimbledon champions," the singer told Rolling Stone Country.

5. Colt Ford

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - AUGUST 21: Colt Ford performs during the Kentucky State Fair on August 21, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)

This Georgia native was a professional golfer before switching over to the music business. Born Jason Farris Brown, the "Dirt Road Anthem" singer and writer even played on the Nationwide Tour.

6. Charley Pride

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
ATLANTA, UNITED STATES: Baseball legend Hank Aaron (L) is congratulated by baseball player Dave Winfield (C) and singer Charlie Pride (R) 05 February in Atlanta, GA, during a salute to Aaron's 65th birthday and 25th anniversary of the home run he hit into history breaking Babe Ruth's 714 career record. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pride may be an icon in country music, but he was also an incredibly talented baseball player. In 1952, he pitched in the Negro American League before playing on the Boise Yankees farm team. He spent the next several years playing on minor league teams across the country until his first single arrived in 1966. Pride maintained his love of baseball and became a part owner of the Texas Rangers.

7. Carrie Underwood

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Country music artist Carrie Underwood attends the City of Hope Softball Challenge at Greer Stadium on June 10, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Underwood played softball for eight years, including all four years at Checotah High School in Oklahoma. She also played basketball during her high school years.

"Participating in sports also taught me important life lessons about dedication and teamwork," the country superstar said in a statement.

8. Brian Kelley

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Donovan Carter celebrates with Brian Kelly during the All-Star and Legends Celebrity Softball Game at Nationals Park on July 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Kelley, one half of Florida Georgia Line, was a well-known college baseball player. He played at Florida State University on a baseball scholarship before transferring to Belmont University in Nashville (where he met Tyler Hubbard).

9. Sam Hunt

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 16: Sam Hunt #3 of the UAB Blazers checks the sidelines for a play during their game against the Georgia Bulldogs on September 16, 2006 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Hunt pursued a football career before setting his sights on music in 2008. He was nominated for a Wendy's Heisman at his Georgia high school before playing quarterback at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Though he was invited to train with the Kansas City Chiefs, he didn't officially make it onto the NFL team.

10. Chad Brock

Country Singers Who Were Athletes
Chad Brock (Photo by Frank Mullen/WireImage)

You may have forgotten, but Brock was a WCW wrestler before he started making music. The "Yes!" singer played football in high school, but wanting to focus on music, he chose to move to Nashville after graduation. When music didn't take off right away, he started wrestling but was forced to quit in 1996 due to an injury. His debut album followed in 1998.'

This story previously ran in 2019.

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10 Country Singers Who Were Athletes