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With pretty much the entire sports world focusing its collective attention on the 2020 NFL Draft, the NBA has a handful of connections with the event.

High-profile connections, at that.

The highest of those profiles is that of none other than Pat Riley.

Yes, that Pat Riley.

Though Riley, the team president of the Miami Heat, is best known for his NBA playing, coaching and executive careers with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and now the Heat, he was also drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1967 NFL draft as a wide receiver, even though he never played college football.

At the University of Kentucky, Riley played basketball for the legendary Adolph Rupp from 1963-67, jumping center in the historic 1966 NCAA Tournament championship game against Texas Western (now UTEP). The story of that title game became the focus of the movie, "Glory Road." Riley averaged 22 points per game for the Wildcats that season, the team being dubbed "Rupp's Runts."

Pat Riley jumped center at 6-foot-5 at Kentucky.

Pat Riley jumped center at 6-foot-5 at Kentucky.

Riley, born in Schenectady, N.Y., did stand out on the gridiron and the hardwood as a high schooler at Linton High School. Perhaps the Cowboys knew what they were doing when they took a flier on Riley -- he had turned down an offer to play college football for Paul "Bear" Bryant at the University of Alabama, opting instead to go down the basketball path.

Professional football did run in Riley's family, his older brother, Lee, playing defensive back for the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants from 1955 -60 and then for the AFL's New York Titans in 1961 and '62.

MINNESOTA KID

A Pro Football Hall of Famer actually dipped his toes into professional sports first with the Minneapolis Lakers.

Bud Grant, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Lakers in 1950 and the 6-3 guard scored 249 points in 96 career games in the 1949-50 and 1950-51 seasons, being part of the Lakers' team that went 51-17 and won the NBA championship in 1950, beating the Syracuse Nationals in six games.

However, the Philadelphia Eagles had selected him with the 14th overall pick in the 1950 NFL Draft and Grant, who came to fame as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 1967-83 and 1985, decided to head to the gridiron.

Before kicking off his Pro Football HOF career, Bud Grant played for the Minneapolis Lakers.

Before kicking off his Pro Football HOF career, Bud Grant played for the Minneapolis Lakers.

"I was just blessed I was able to do both," Grant told FOXSportsFlorida.com in a 2014 interview. "You reach a certain stage in your career where you level off. You can take a kid and you develop, and you get better. … But at a certain stage, you level off, and you don’t quite get to be a starter or you don’t quite get to be as good as you think you could be or want to be.

"I had reached that level. I could play pro basketball. I could probably make the team for a couple more years. I made some winning baskets. I won the world championship. I got all the thrills out of it.

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"I was only 6-foot-3, and I was playing against guys who were 6-5, 6-6, 6-7. And while I could jump a little bit, they were better than I was. So I decided, ‘I leveled off here.’ But football, I could see where I could excel."

The 199-pound Grant played left end on defense for the Eagles in 1951, starting 11 of 12 games. He proved much more effective on the other side of the football, however, playing right end for the Eagles in 1952. In 12 games (all starts), Grant caught 56 passes for 997 yards (17.8 average) and seven touchdowns, with a long reception of 84 yards.

In his 18-year tenure as coach of the Vikings, the now-92-year-old Grant led Minnesota to a 158-96-5 record (.621), reaching the Super Bowl four times.

A ROYAL QB

Another Pro Football Hall of Famer made his professional-sports debut on the hardwood.

Otto Graham, the legendary quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, joined the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League (NBL) after a brief stint in the Navy at the tail end of World War II.

The 6-1, 196-pound Graham averaged 5.2 points in 32 games for the Royals, with whom he was a teammate of future Basketball Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman.

In a portent of what was to come for Graham, the Royals won the 1946 NBL championship, sweeping the Sheboygan Redskins in the Finals, 3-0.

Before he was an Hall of Game QB for the Cleveland Browns, Otto Graham (kneeling, third from left) was a pro basketball champion with the Rochester Royals. Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman has his arm around Graham.

Before he was an Hall of Game QB for the Cleveland Browns, Otto Graham (kneeling, third from left) was a pro basketball champion with the Rochester Royals. Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman has his arm around Graham.

Graham had been drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 1944 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions but never suited up for them. After World War II, Paul Brown signed the Northwestern product to play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, then of the AAFC, before joining the NFL in 1950.

He led the Browns to the championship game in all 10 seasons he played, winning seven titles. Graham was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965, having led the Browns to a 57-13-1 record during his tenure, never missing a game in his career.

THE RIFLEMAN

Finally, actor Chuck Connors played basketball for the Boston Celtics (as well as a cup of coffee in Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Lakers) in the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and many reports have the man best known for his role in "The Rifleman" television series and countless movies, being drafted by NFL Chicago Bears.

However, those reports are erroneous.

Connors, a 6-5, 190-pound forward-center, played in 49 games in the 1946-47 season with Boston and four in 1947-48. In those 53 games, he scored 239 points.

However, "The Rifleman" was certainly no marksman as he shot only 25.2 percent from the field (99 of 393) in his brief stint with the Celtics. Connors handed out 41 assists and committed 41 personal fouls in his 53-game tenure.

Colton Jones is a regular contributor to AmicoHoops and AllCavs. Follow him @cjoneshoops.