11 Star Athletes Who Expected to Go Pro in a Different Sport

LeBron as a Pro Bowl WR? J.J. Watt in the NHL? Dirk Nowitzki a Grand Slam champion?

J.J. Watt Adored Hockey as a Kid

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J.J. Watt Adored Hockey as a Kid

J.J. Watt is known as the most dominant defensive player in the NFL.

But during his younger days, Watt pictured himself going pro in a different sport — hockey.

Watt shared his love for the sport in an interview with the MMQB:

"I grew up in Wisconsin loving hockey."

"I mean, I started when I was 3 years old on skates."

"I played all over—in Canada all the time, all over the U.S., over in Germany for a 10-day tournament."

"Hockey, honestly, was my first love."

"The excitement, the fast pace, the intensity of the game … I still love it to this day."

"Really, I had to quit. It was financial."

"I have two younger brothers and we were all playing on a travel team, and it was extremely expensive."

"My family is a middle class family."

"When I grew up and learned how much it actually cost for us to play hockey, I could not believe that my parents let us play as long as they did."

"Now I'm forever grateful for my parents even giving me the opportunity, because honestly those were some of the best years of my life."

"Now that I understand how much it cost, I'm so thankful to my parents."

"I wasn't always this big, so I was more of a center back then and a goal scorer. Loved the game. Still do."

The thought of the now 6-foot-5, 295-pound Watt punishing some poor sap against the boards is certainly entertaining.