Mr. Olympia 2011: Phil Heath Goes from Basketball Star to Bodybuilding Legend

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16:  Mr Olympia Phil Heath poses during a media call ahead of the 2012 IFBB Australian Pro Grand Prix XIII on March 16, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Who would have thought this would happen way back in 2002?

A college basketball star turns into Mr. Olympia?

This can't be possible. There is no way Phil Heath the basketball player and Phil Heath the bodybuilder are one in the same. It appears that Heath has somehow transformed from a 180 pound basketball player to the premier bodybuilder in the world.

How in the world did Heath go from this:


To this:


Stunning, incredible, amazing, all three of those words come to mind when I look at those two pictures. It really is an incredible transformation.

Prior to becoming a bodybuilder, Heath was a basketball star in high school who earned himself a full ride to the University of Denver to play ball. Hard to believe, huh? Just check it out for yourself.


He didn't exactly dominate the hardwood like he dominated this year's Mr. Olympia.

According to Sports Reference's college basketball page, Heath scored just 86 points in his four-year career before deciding to focus on bodybuilding.

He definitely made the right decision. He knocked off the defending champion and four-time winner Jay Cutler to win this year's event in stunning fashion.

In a conversation during's radio show, Heath had the following to say about this year's event,

"Words cannot describe how I feel right now. I'm so happy I was able to do it and able to have fun while doing it."

Maybe, he had fun because he earned himself a fat $200,000 paycheck, but either way, it looks like he chose the right profession.

Heath has only been doing this for four years, so he certainly has room to grow, don't be surprised if you see Heath winning this event for years to come.

Just in case you missed it, here's Heath scaring me to death with his gigantic muscles in his post Mr. Olympia interview,


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