My mother couldn’t believe it
“You have a college degree! You need to get a job! You need to get a car! You need an apartment! You need a haircut!” ( I sported cornrows back then.)
Well, that one-sided conversation did it for me. As soon as that conversation ended, I knew that I was 100% SURE – that I would become a professional basketball player.
My mental make up demanded that I become one. Retaliation, revenge, get back, having the last laugh, knowing I won in the end – all of that stuff mattered to me. A lot. So the negativity I received in response to sharing my goal of playing pro basketball pretty much guaranteed I would reach my goal of playing pro basketball. I had been left with no other choice.
So I put every resource I had – and there wasn’t much – into making it happen.
I worked at Foot Locker and sold gym memberships at Bally total fitness as jobs. I didn’t make much money, didn’t move out of my parents house, couldn’t have afforded a date if I had gotten one at that time, and drove a really beat up vehicle whose passenger side door didn’t work.
All I did was go to work, save what little money I could, and keep my eyes peeled for an opportunity – ANY opportunity. For professional basketball, those usually came in the form of exposure camps and combines. I kept looking for one that was in my price range and halfway decent looking. That would be my opportunity.
I finally got one in June 2005. I had to drive from Philadelphia to Orlando to get to this opportunity, and I had to play basketball at the moment I jumped out of the car from a 12 hour drive, but an opportunity, it was. And, looking at my dwindling funds, that opportunity may have been my only opportunity.
I dominated at that camp.
My performance at that camp – the “opportunity” I spoke of – was what propelled me to start a professional basketball career. I signed with an agent, who helped get me my first three playing situations.
Nowadays I lead many players who are in the same boat as I was in 2004: no prospects, no one helping them, and very few opportunities in front of them. What should they do?
I can only teach you from what I know: go all in. What happens, happens.
That’s what today’s show is all about: giving yourself no Plan B, no out clause, and making it happen – because you have no choice but to.
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