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‘The Voice': Jermaine Paul Turned Down Syracuse Basketball Scholarship

You can never have too many big men around, right?  So Jim Boeheim could have probably used a guy like Jermaine Paul back in 1997.

Jermaine, one of 24 contestants still standing on NBC’s THE VOICE, confirmed today that he turned down a chance to play basketball at Syracuse University — and instead signed a record deal with a label started by Shaquille O’Neal.

“I went to Utica College of Syracuse University, a smaller hcg diet drops school that was prepping me for Syracuse University basketball and a possible scholarship,” he told us in a text message Sunday. “I signed a record deal instead and left school early.”

Jermaine, 33, who has worked for many years a backup singer for Alicia Keys, is one of 12 singers who will perform Monday night (April 2) during the first live episode of THE VOICE.

Check out our full interview with him below.