The Undertaker is one of the most iconic characters in the history of pro wrestling. Behind the dark and mysterious theatrics of a WWE Hall of Fame performer lies Mark Calloway, who as a young man thought he might someday be a basketball star. At one point, he was even recruited by a former NBA coach.

On the first episode of A&E’s WWE Legends, The Undertaker opened up about the college recruitment process. Given his size and athleticism, Taker had plenty of options. One that intrigued him most was a spot at Pan American University under former NBA coach Lon Kruger.

The Undertaker said that he was recruited heavily out of high school by Kruger. When it came time to sign his national letter of intent, the coach backed off. He decided to go with more experienced junior college talent because he wanted to win right away.

“Start to get a lot of interest at that point to go play college. Lon Kruger, he was at Pan American University (1982 – 1986) and recruited me really, really heavily. I don’t a couple of days before signing. And coach Kruger called me and said, ‘You know, Mark, I need to win right out of the gate’. He says, ‘I’m gonna go with a couple of junior college players’.

And I’m like okay and that’s where I went to the University of Saint Thomas, that was in Houston. After one year of athletics, the school went bankrupt. And that’s where I ended up with Texas Wesleyan University.”

When things didn’t work out in basketball, The Undertaker took a different path. Ultimately, that road led him to unimaginable success. He may have changed sports along the way, but The Undertaker ultimately became one of the most recognizable professional athletes of his era.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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