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Iman Shumpert Hopes ‘DWTS’ Win Will Inspire Other NBA Players To Sign Up

Iman Shumpert has expressed hopes that his recent victory on Dancing With the Stars will encourage other basketball players to take the leap and sign up.

The NBA star, who most recently played for the Brooklyn Nets, made history on Monday night when he became the first ever basketball player to make it to a finale on the show and, subsequently, win.

After scoring two sets of perfect scores from the judges for their choreographed routines, Shumpert and his professional partner, Daniella Karagach, clinched the coveted Mirrorball Trophy—beating JoJo Siwa, Cody Rigsby and Amanda Kloots.

And Shumpert is now hoping that he has blazed a trail for sportsmen to follow in his footsteps after seeing his momentous ballroom success.

Speaking with Extra about his win, Shumpert was asked if he plans to recruit more NBA players to compete on the show, prompting him to answer: “I hope so. I hope the guys at home watching realize that the show is not all the way about you being able to technically dance.

“[It is about] being able to be yourself, letting Dancing With the Stars come out here and tell your story to allow people to root with you in other avenues besides basketball.

“I know as basketball players we get trapped in that a lot, to be an athlete all the time. If this is not proof enough for you that you can be more, you should look harder at the Mirrorball… Envision yours.”

Elsewhere in his interview, Shumpert, 31, discussed the unwavering support he had received from his wife, Teyana Taylor, who shared footage of herself celebrating his win as she watched the show from the family’s home.

"Dancing With the Stars" champ Iman Shumpert
“Dancing With the Stars” contestant Iman Shumpert performs onstage at The Novo on November 08, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Shumpert has revealed that he hopes his “Dancing With the Stars” win will inspire other NBA players to sign up for the show.
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

“Teyana had a watch party,” Shumpert said of his wife, with whom he shares two daughters. “They were voting… Showing a tremendous amount of support.”

Shumpert also revealed that singer and actress Taylor’s background in performance helped a great deal when it came to his own preparation for the show.

Revealing the tips she had shared with him, the sportsman said: “She tells me… ‘Go into that actual moment as a performer.’ I think she is one of the top performers I have ever seen… As a performer, she tries to give a performance people feel… Having those moments with her on the phone really helps me lock in.”

Following Shumpert’s win, Taylor, 30, took to her Instagram account to share a collection of photos and videos from Shumpert’s time on the show—including the moment host Tyra Banks named him as the winner

Captioning the celebratory upload, she wrote: “THE LEVEL OF PROUD I AM IS TEWWWWWW MUCH TO EVEN PUT IN WORDS!!!

“WOW congrats @imanshumpert @daniellakaragach i am proud but NOT shocked!!!! YALL GOT THAT! AS YOU SHOULD! WELL DESERVED!! Thank you for trusting one another, believing in one another, killing that s*** every week & most importantly foot working that mutha f****** mirror ball home!!!!!! PERIOD!

“Congrats guys!!! [heart, fire emojis] thank you @dancingabc & all the fans and friends that VOTEDDDDDDDDD every single week!!! You are appreciated.”

Iman Shumpert and Teyana Taylor
Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert attend The Compound and Luxury Watchmaker Roger Dubuis Hosts NBA All-Star Dinner at STK Chicago on February 14, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Taylor tirelessly supported her husband as he competed on the show.
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Roger Dubuis

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