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20 Celebrities Who Were High School Sports Stars

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Most celebrities are talented in more areas than just acting. Sometimes, that includes sports; in the cases of these 20 stars, sports were their calling card before acting.

20. Gwen Stefani

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20. Gwen Stefani

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Sport: Swimming

The pop singer originally took up swimming as a way to lose weight, but found out that she was pretty good. Even though she didn't go any further in her career, she became a pretty good swimmer before going on to fame and fortune.

19. Charlie Sheen

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19. Charlie Sheen

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Sport: Baseball

It turns out Sheen had experience pitching before he played the classic "Wild Thing" in 'Major League.' He seemed destined to be a solid high school pitcher until he was expelled from school and started taking acting more seriously.

18. Tina Fey

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18. Tina Fey

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Sport: Tennis

Fey, who can do a little bit of everything, was a very good tennis player in high school. She was in many groups and clubs back then, but she really stood out on the tennis court to her friends and family.

17. Sheryl Crow

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17. Sheryl Crow

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Sport: Track

While attending high school in Missouri, Crow was a state champion track runner. That's incredibly impressive for someone who would also go on to be a very popular singer nationally.

16. Jason Segel

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16. Jason Segel

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Sport: Basketball

Playing center for his high school basketball team, Segel helped win his California high school a state championship. For most, that would be a crowning achievement, but he's gone on to become one of the most successful comedy actors of his generation.

15. Matthew McConaughey

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15. Matthew McConaughey

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Sports: Golf and tennis

McConaughey wishes he could've played sports for his beloved Texas Longhorns, but he couldn't quite do that. Nonetheless, he was a two-sport athlete in high school and excelled at some very difficult sports.

14. Ellen DeGeneres

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14. Ellen DeGeneres

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Sport: Tennis

The beloved talk show host wasn't always exclusively an actor and comedian. She dominated on the tennis courts in high school as she said she always identified as a bit of a tomboy.

13. Zach Gilford

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13. Zach Gilford

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Sport: Football

Remember Gilford as the memorable Matt Saracen in 'Friday Night Lights'? Well, apparently it didn't take too much to act like he was a high school football player. He played in high school, but an injury pushed him toward theater, which he discovered he had a passion for.

12. Tom Selleck

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12. Tom Selleck

2nd Annual Paleyfest New York Presents:
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Sport: Basketball

It appears that Selleck may have had a basketball career had he not decided to pursue acting. He was so good in high school that he was able to play basketball for USC in the 1960s before becoming a household name as an actor.

11. Denzel Washington

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11. Denzel Washington

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Sport: Basketball

In high school, Denzel was a basketball star. However, he decided to go into acting rather than pursue the sport. It looks like he made the right decision at this point in his life.

10. Kurt Russell

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10. Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell Honors Herb Brooks
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Sport: Baseball

Russell was a great high school baseball player and actually made it to the minor leagues. One year, he tore his rotator cuff and was never the same. However, it seems like it was for the best as he's been one of the best actors in Hollywood over the past couple of decades.

9. Will Ferrell

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9. Will Ferrell

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Sport: Football

Funny man Will Ferrell hasn't always been fun and games. While at UC-Irvine, he was the team's kicker. Obviously, his time in high school helped prepare him for that moment, but he kicked football to the curb to pursue his incredibly successful acting career.

8. Mario Lopez

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8. Mario Lopez

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Sport: Wrestling

The lovable star from 'Saved By The Bell' used to wrestle in high school, and it turns out he was pretty darn good. In 1991, he finished in seventh in the state of California in the 160-pound wrestling division.

7. Forest Whitaker

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7. Forest Whitaker

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Sport: Football

The famous actor excelled at football in high school, and that led to him transferring to USC to play the sport. However, he also received a few musical scholarships and he decided to pursue the arts. Now one of the best actors of his generation, he clearly bolted at the right time.

6. Jason Sudeikis

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6. Jason Sudeikis

Celebrity0 Jason Sudeikis
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Sport: Basketball

Sudeikis was playing hoops long before he was an SNL star. He played in Kansas with several future stars and actually fit right in. Even though he didn't pan out as a basketball player, he can always look back on those high school moments fondly.

5. Jamie Foxx

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5. Jamie Foxx

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Sports: Basketball and football

The 'Django Unchained' star apparently was showing off his athletic ability far before hitting the big screen. He was a star on the court and gridiron before going after an acting career that has been very good to him lately.

4. Brad Pitt

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4. Brad Pitt

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Sports: Tennis, golf, swimming

Pitt is an amazing actor, and he was also an incredible athlete while attending high school in Kickapoo, Missouri. The movie star excelled in each sport as he has excelled on the big screen for decades.

3. George Clooney

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3. George Clooney

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Sports: Baseball

Clooney was an incredible baseball player in high school. He was so good, in fact, that he reached the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds. When that fizzled out, he went into acting, where he would become an absolute megastar.

2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

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Sport: Football

When you look at "The Rock," it's not hard to guess that he played sports at some point. He was a great football player in high school, which landed him a scholarship at the University of Miami. Even though he didn't stick to football, he's been showing off his physical prowess ever since.

1. Burt Reynolds

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1. Burt Reynolds

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Sport: Football

Believe it or not, Reynolds may have been the most successful athlete of any major celebrity today. He was good enough at running back in high school to receive a scholarship to Florida State University. Once there, he became one of the best backs in the entire country.