Jelani Gardner (born December 26, 1975 in the USA) is an American-French professional basketball player. In 2002, he underwent a kidney transplant operation. He is 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) in height. He plays mainly at the shooting guard position, but he can also play at the point guard and small forward positions. He played with the Milton Keynes Lions Basketball Club until he was released in January 2011.
After playing high school basketball at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California, Gardner played college basketball at the University of California. However, when his parents became disenchanted with their son's lack of playing time, they revealed to the NCAA that Todd Bozeman, Cal's head coach, had paid them about $30,000 over a two-year period so his parents could attend Jelani's games. After the scandal broke, Gardner transferred to Pepperdine. Bozeman was ultimately forced to resign and effectively blackballed from the college ranks until 2005, and Cal was forced to forfeit every game in which Gardner played (the entire 1994-95 season and all but two games of the 1995-96 season).
A blood test as part of a pre-NBA Draft physical examination in 1995 revealed that Gardner had kidney disease further hurting his NBA draft stock.
Gardner played professionally with clubs such as Maccabi Rishon, the Grand Rapids Hoops, the Fort Wayne Fury, the Hamburg Tigers, the Roanoke Dazzle, Reims, Krka Novo Mesto, ESPE Basket Châlons-en-Champagne, AS Golbey-Epinal, Universitet Yugra Surgut, Trikala 2000 in his professional career.
Finally, in 2002, after playing with kidney disease for 7 years, Gardner's disease reached the critical stage and he received a kidney transplant from his mother that year.