Residency Match Day 2020 is upon us. On Friday, March 20, aspiring doctors from around the country will find out which hospital they place for residency, allowing them to begin their careers as licensed physicians in the United States.

Residency Match Day is almost like the "doctor draft," similar to the draft in professional sports leagues such as the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the National Hockey League (NHL).

However, many doctors go "unmatched," or "undrafted" in sports terms. It could be seen as discouraging and unfortunate for those doctors who have gone unmatched, much like the athletes who go undrafted in their respective sports.

Despite that, there have been many success stories of players who have gone undrafted. They did not give up, and successful careers ended up panning out in their favor because of that. The same can be said for those physicians around the country.

For those MDs who go unmatched this year, fear not. You could very well end up becoming the doctor version of these successful and persevering athletes.

Opportunities are always there, such as what Unmatched MD provides for those aspiring licensed physicians. Aspiring doctors and current medical students can also prepare for what's ahead via Married to Med School as well.

So if you go unmatched or undrafted, take a look at these athletes as inspiration. You could very well end up as the doctor version of them in the future.

Without further ado, here are 10 notable undrafted athletes from the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL.

Jeremy Lin

Undrafted out of Harvard in 2010, Jeremy Lin tried to make his way into the NBA by signing with the Golden State Warriors. However, he got waived by them—twice. 

Lin ended up making his mark in 2012 when signing with the New York Knicks, taking over with "Linsanity." In 25 games, he averaged 18 points and nearly eight assists per game, including some game-winning shots and a playoff berth for the Big Apple. 

Knicks fans had been going crazy in the Big Apple during Lin's run, taking advantage of the sports betting aspect with gry hazardowe darmowe whenever the star point guard was playing. 

The superb play earned Lin a four-year contract with the Houston Rockets worth nearly $30 million, with about $20 million in guaranteed money. 

Just last season, he won a championship as a member of the Toronto Raptors, defeating the Warriors team that waived him at the very beginning of his career. 

Udonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem went undrafted in 2002 despite a successful collegiate career at the University of Florida, where the team went to the NCAA Tournament all four years he was there, including an appearance in the championship game. 

Haslem ended up signing with a French team named Chalon-Sur-Saône before joining the hometown Miami Heat in 2003. In 2006, he played a key role with big men Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning in the team's first NBA Finals series win over the Dallas Mavericks. 

Haslem then picked up two more trophies in 2012 and 2013 with the famous "Heatles" squad consisting of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. 

Haslem is currently in his 16th year in the NBA, so far having spent his entire career with the franchise that took the chance on him. 

Bobby Bonilla

Bobby Bonilla went undrafted out of high school in the 1981 MLB Draft. Bonilla spent a semester in New York pursuing a degree in computer science until a scout spotted him at a baseball camp in Europe, where he then signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Bonilla ended up becoming a six-time All-Star, including a World Series championship in 1997 as a member of the Florida Marlins. From 1992 to 1994, he was the highest-paid player in the MLB earning more than $6 million a season with the New York Mets.

Bonilla is perhaps best known today for his contract with the Mets, where he was cut by the team before the 2000 season while still being owed $5.9 million. 

Bonilla negotiated a very clever deferred-money deal, where he has been paid $1.19 million on July 1 every year from 2009 until 2035. He will end up being paid $29.8 million at the end of the payments, while not having played a single game for the Mets. 

Bruce Bowen

Bruce Bowen's journey to becoming an NBA champion is a special one. In 1993, he went undrafted in the NBA after four years at Cal State Fullerton.

He then became a journeyman basketball player, playing for different clubs overseas such as in France. He also played in the Continental Basketball League (CBA) before finally getting his shot in the NBA by signing a 10-day contract with the Miami Heat in 1997.

Bowen bounced around the league from 1997-2001, playing for the Heat, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers.

It was in 2001 where he carved out his path and legacy, signing with the San Antonio Spurs. Bowen became a key part of the team's three championship runs, being the perfect 3-and-D player that they needed.

Bowen was known for his stellar defense and 3-point shooting, finishing with a 39.3-percent clip for his career. He also was very durable, almost never missing a game. Bowen finished his career making the All-Defensive team eight times, as well as having No. 12 jersey retired by the Spurs.

Steve Duchesne

Duchesne went undrafted in 1984 but got his first shot in the NHL after being signed by the Los Angeles Kings. He began his career making the NHL All-Rookie Team, and it did not take long after for him to cement himself as one of the top defensemen in the league.

Duchesne ended up playing 16 years in the NHL and was a seven-time All-Star. He played for the Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators, and the Detroit Red Wings.

He finished with 227 goals and 752 points for his career, and he capped it off with a Stanley Cup win in his final season in the NHL with the Red Wings in 2002.

Kurt Warner

After a successful senior year at the University of Northern Iowa, Warner went undrafted in 1994 in the NFL. He signed with the Green Bay Packers in training camp but was cut before the regular season began.

Warner then took his talents to the Arena Football League, making his mark from 1995-97 and becoming one of the best players in the league's history.

But after his release from the Packers, he was stocking shelves at a grocery store for under $6 an hour, while also working as a graduate assistant coach for his former college football team.

Warner finally got his shot in 1998, signing with the St. Louis Rams. He entered the 1999 season as the backup quarterback, but after starter Trent Green went down before the season began, Warner's chance was here—and the rest was history.

Warner took over one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, known as the "Greatest Show on Turf," and helped the Rams win the Super Bowl over the Tennessee Titans. Warner also appeared in two other Super Bowls, one with the Rams again and another with the Arizona Cardinals.

Warner retired as a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time league MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri went undrafted in the NFL but got his first shot with the New England Patriots in 1996—two years removed from graduating at South Dakota State. He played 10 years for the Patriots, appearing in four Super Bowls and winning three of them.

Vinatieri played the second half of his 24-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, winning a Super Bowl in two appearances. He has the most Super Bowl wins by a kicker, as well as the most points scored ever by an NFL player.

Vinatieri is known as the most clutch kicker and one of the most clutch players of all time, hitting game-winners for the Patriots in two Super Bowls and the "Tuck Rule" game. He also played a key role in the Colts' 2006 championship run.

Vinatieri is known widely among NFL fans, players, and experts as the greatest kicker of all time. It's crazy that he had gone undrafted, but all it took was one chance from a team to bet on the future Hall of Famer.

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace went undrafted in the NBA in 1996 but signed on with the Washington Wizards soon after. He played three seasons there before being traded to the Orlando Magic in 1999.

Wallace showed he was a serviceable big man in the league, but he did not make his mark until the 2000-01 season when he was part of a trade that allowed the Magic to acquire Grant Hill.

It was in Detroit on the Pistons where Wallace created his legacy, while many believed at the time that the Magic got the better end of the trade.

Though considered undersized for his position, Wallace soon became known as one of the best rebounding and defensive big men in the game, and eventually one of the greatest ever at doing so in NBA history.

Wallace finished his career as four-time All-Star and four-time Defensive Player of the Year. This included a season where he averaged over 15 rebounds a game and nearly four blocks. He also played a huge role in the team's upset Finals series win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Also known as "Big Ben," Wallace also played for the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers before finishing out in Detroit again from 2009-2012. He had his No. 3 jersey retired by the franchise in 2016 and will be on his way into the Basketball Hall of Fame in the future.

Warren Moon

Warren Moon had a successful college career at Washington but was a victim of his era, which led to him going undrafted in the NFL in 1978. Moon then took his talents to the Canadian Football League (CFL) and became an instant success with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Moon became a legend in the CFL, winning five straight Grey Cups from 1978-82, along with two MVP awards in the 1980 and 1982 games. He was named the league MVP in 1983.

The Houston Oilers ended up winning the bidding war for his services in the NFL, where he played for the team from 1984-93. He had also played for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Moon was a nine-time Pro Bowler, including being the Offensive Player of the Year in 1990. Moon was a prolific passer in both the CFL and NFL, making the Hall of Fame in both leagues. He is known as one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history.

Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates went undrafted out of Kent State in 2003 in the NFL. However, he only played college basketball and no football. He last played football in high school in Detroit. 

However, he did originally intend to play both football and basketball at Michigan State, but it fell through after then-coach Nick Saban only wanted him to play football. Gates could have learned under legendary coaches in Saban for football and Tom Izzo for basketball.

Gates had success as a power forward for Kent State, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds per game while also appearing in the NCAA Tournament. However, his frame made it difficult to translate to the NBA as either a guard or forward. 

Gates opted to try the NFL instead, with as many as 19 teams wanting to try him out. He eventually signed with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, playing his entire 16-year career for the franchise.

Gates made his mark by his second season, having 81 catches for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns. He ended up retiring as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, still holding the record for most touchdown catches for the position at 116. He was also an eight-time Pro Bowler. 


With the drafts coming up in the following leagues this year, many athletes can take note that it isn't over if you go undrafted. The same goes for those future and aspiring doctors if they do not match. 

Hopefully, these legendary athletes can serve as inspiration for those who are down, feel like giving up, or are discouraged. Many of these athletes may have felt the same but ended up becoming very successful and one of the bests in their field.

Success is not a straight line. It is never over. This is just the beginning. People like Vinatieri, Moon, Gates, Wallace, and Lin can definitely say the same. 

Good luck to those on Friday on Match Day, as well as athletes in the upcoming drafts for the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. Your time will come. There is always an opportunity awaiting. 


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