“Take advantage of the luck you handed/or the talent you been given/ain’t no half-steppin/ain’t no slippin…..treat my first like my last/ and my first/ and my thirst is the same as when I came” – Jay-Z My First Song
As I sit here on the eve of my first major news article detailing The Hoop Dream, I am caught in constant reflection on how I got to Budadiri Uganda and the leaps of faith that I have taken in the last fourteen months.
A burnt out junior college player with little direction after graduation, I felt the game still pulling me, not yet ready to let the dream go. But as we grow, we must learn to shape our dreams into more realistic goals. I knew my passion for the game could be used to inspire others to dream as big as I once did. As a child, and adult for that matter, we keep ourselves motivated by thoughts of future greatness or achievement. I knew then that I must devote myself to instill that hope for a better future into youth through basketball.
The Hoop Dream has allowed me to visit places that they don’t even bother to put on maps. To reach children that have never seen the game played, let alone allowed themselves to dream of one day becoming a collegiate or professional athlete. Each new location has different obstacles to overcome. By trying to treat each project as a piece of my (hopefully) everlasting legacy, I carry on over the bumps with a smile, knowing that I am the lighter of a fire that will burn uncontained, forevermore. LOVE.