Despite playing a starring role in Michigan State football before embarking on a five-year NFL career, basketball has always been on Funchess’s heart.
“When it comes to my love and passion, I love the game of basketball,” Funches said.
The 28-year-old has no illusions of jumping into the NBA anytime soon. Instead, Funches said he would pay his dues in hopes of playing abroad, gaining experience and opportunities that would arise. Funches is focused on the hoops.
“I haven’t played basketball for a real team since 2010,” Fanches said. “In 2022, I re-laced my shoelaces and have been going to work ever since.”
Funchess dreams of playing in the NBA one day, but a return to the NFL isn’t ruled out.
Funchess says “about three” teams have recently spoken to his agent.
“We’re just waiting for that fit,” said Funchess. “Of course, injuries happen every week. I’m not praying for it, but it’s the reality of football. So I’m just waiting for my call.”
Fanches mentioned the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys and a possible return to Indianapolis, and was asked which team he would be interested in joining.
“I have a close relationship with the people of Philadelphia. I used to hang out with them—then Indy,” Funches said. “There’s nothing wrong with playing with Patrick Mahomes and seeing what they’re doing in Dallas.”
A second-round pick by the Panthers in 2015, Fanches has 164 receptions for 2,265 yards and 21 touchdowns over five seasons in Carolina and Indianapolis.