In writing this while sitting in the food court of Dadeland Mall in Miami. It’s late morning and walking around this quiet mall reminds me of ten years ago, when I was working as an assistant manager at a Foot Locker at Granite Run Mall outside of Philly.
I’d graduated college and knew basketball was my destiny, but I hadn’t reached it yet. I spent that first post-grad year working in the mall and then selling gym memberships at Bally Total Fitness, before I finally got on in pro ball.
It’s almost surreal that I sit in this food court now, ten years later in a mall where there’s a good chance someone who knows me from YouTube will see me and shake my hand. YouTube was never part of my plan — hell, it didn’t even exist ten years ago — but without it you may not even be reading this.
Crazy how much distance — not in physical miles, but in life experience — can be covered in ten years. I knew if be playing ball and that people would know me and that I’d be in Miami, but everything in between 2004 and 2014 was not planned. I just had a vision that I stuck to, and every decision I made was in the name of that vision. Sometimes that’s more important than a blueprint, as that vision is like a magnet that attracts objects, no matter what walls, peaks or valleys separate the two.
I remember eating lunches at Granite Run Mall and I never felt down about my situation. I just knew things would get to where they’ve gotten to. Looking back, I have no idea why I felt that way, but the feeling was there, every day. I knew that those days in the striped shirt were just a part of the story to be told.
And it goes on.