Kris Humphries signed a one-year contract worth $4 million with the Atlanta Hawks earlier this summer, setting him up for a 13th NBA season this winter. But had his pesky $50 million basketball career not gotten in the way, the Minneapolis native might have been in a pool this summer in Rio.
At 10 years old, Humphries was the best swimmer in the country in six different events, in an age group that included some of the best swimmers of all-time.
Humphries beat the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps, in the 50-meter butterfly and the 100-meter freestyle in 1995, NBA.com reminded us this week. Among the other swimmers Humphries blew away at age 10 were 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte and Olympic medalist and world champion Milorad Cavic.
"I was so good at a young age that I got a little burnt out," Humphries told People Magazine in 2003. "I also grew up in the Michael Jordan era ... for me, I watched [basketball] and saw it as a challenge. It's hard to stay focused on something when you have a ton of success at a young age, so I picked up basketball a little later and rolled with that."
Humphries, who played one season of college basketball for the Gophers before turning pro, registered top 10 times in all nine race categories at age 10, including three records. His records in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races held in the U.S. swimming youth national record books for 18 years. He still owns a handful of records in the 10-year-old age division in Minnesota.
Maybe if Humphries, now 31, had stayed in the pool and off the court he’d be one of the best swimmers of all-time along with Phelps and Lochte.
The Hopkins High School basketball star still finds time to swim. He posted a photo on Instagram last year of him in a pool and wrote “Pool workout. Swimming isn’t that easy anymore.”