This 19-year-old basketball player is the latest to join the ranks of plant-based NBA players.
The NBA’s number one draft pick Cade Cunningham joins the growing list of vegan superstar athletes. The 19-year-old Oklahoma State basketball player has been vegan since high school and is bringing the plant-based magic to the court as he heads to play for the Detroit Pistons during the next NBA season.
After being announced as the first NBA draft pick, the ESPN broadcast crew spoke with Cunningham about his vegan lifestyle. Cunningham explained that he made the decision to go vegan as a way to experiment with how his body would react to plant-based food. After taking a short break from veganism in 2019–Cunningham ate McDonald’s during a trip to Greece with Team USA during the FIBA World Cup—the basketball player quickly made the decision to go back to veganism, and it has stuck ever since.
Cade Cunningham as an Athlete Ambassador for JUST Egg
Cunningham also recently became the newest athlete ambassador for Eat Just, which is the brand behind the popular mung-bean-based, vegan egg substitute JUST Egg. Upon his move to Detroit, Cunningham will also be the face of the local FOLK Cafe’s “Cade Stack,” a breakfast sandwich made with a folded JUST Egg, shakshuka cheese sauce, lettuce leaf basil, greens, and rosemary potato crisps on plant-based country-style bread. The sandwich is vegan as-is and will be available at the cafe’s Corktown location for a limited time this August.
Vegan NBA Players
Cunningham isn’t alone when it comes to living a vegan lifestyle in the NBA. In 2017, Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving made the switch to a vegan diet and represented Beyond Meat as an ambassador during the company’s “Go Beyond” campaign, where he promoted their plant-based meats. DeAndre Jordan, also a Nets player, also went vegan and recently launched a vegan cooking show. In addition, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen recently launched HUSK, his own line of plant-based popcorn.