This Former NBA Player Is Ready to Serve His Country

Marshall Plumlee made headlines when he traded his Milwaukee Bucks jersey for a different kind of uniform. The 27-year-old graduated from Army Ranger School, a 62-day tactical training and leadership course for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. A second lieutenant, Plumlee now wears the Ranger Tab on his Army uniform as he’s completed Ranger School.

Marshall Plumlee’s basketball career

After making waves on the high school basketball court, Plumlee was recruit by Duke University. As a senior, he captained the Blue Devils’ 2015 NCAA Championship team. Plumlee signed with the New York Knicks in 2016 and was waived a year later. He got picked up by the Los Angeles Clippers but was waived after only four preseason games. Plumlee played out the season with their NBA G League affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers.

In 2018, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, splitting his time between the Bucks and their NBA G League affiliate team, the Wisconsin Herd. While Plumlee’s childhood dream was to play pro basketball, he also hoped to join the Army someday. The accomplished athlete joined the ROTC in college and was a member of the National Guard while in the NBA.

The Plumlee family circus

Plumlee’s mother pinned a Ranger Tab on his uniform at graduation, and we know it wasn’t the first time she and Plumlee’s father felt proud of their kids. Marshall is the youngest of three sons, all with NBA credentials. Miles Plumlee, the oldest, currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, and Mason Plumlee plays for the Denver Nuggets. All three played for Duke in college and even overlapped during Marshall’s freshman year.

While Mason and Miles are close in age — only 18 months apart — Marshall is four years younger than Mason. He was often the odd one out as they grew up. Whenever the two oldest played basketball in the driveway, Marshall only got to join in when they felt less competitive. He forged his own path while admiring his older brothers. Perhaps this is what led him to find an interest in the Armed Forces.

U.S. Army Ranger School

Only the most determined soldiers make it through Ranger School. The 62-day course is made up of three phases. In each one, students must show leadership skills and prove their physical strength while completing rigorous training missions. Ranger School is designed to both physically and mentally exhaust students to test their determination. Only half of those who start the course will graduate.

Marshall may have been the tallest out of his graduating Ranger School class (he towered over the rest), but he wasn’t alone in his skill. Alongside Plumlee was the first woman in the Air Force to graduate the course. Kids will no doubt look up to Marshall. While pro basketball wasn’t his destiny, he will continue to make his country proud.