I was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 11, 1989. Originally we’ve lived in West Baltimore (Lucille Avenue) but I’ve spent the majority of my life in East Baltimore (Eierman Avenue). Baltimore is certainly one of the toughest cities in all of America. Not just because of the violence and drugs on the streets but more because there aren’t many profitable opportunities for young African Americans. So many times people take the easy way out and take risks of The Life.
My parents never sheltered me because of where we lived and in the end I think that’s what made me who I am today. They trusted in me but also the neighborhood had respect for my family and would never let me fall into a trap. Having all of that around me definitely made my character stronger which proved huge in life and sports.
Basketball has been in my life forever. I started playing at the age of 5 years old. At that time Baltimore didn’t have any programs for kids that young. Looking back at it I can say it was a gift because I had to play against 10-12 year olds which made me stronger and I developed quicker. Like every kid I had guys who I wanted to be on the court, the two guys I admired the most were Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. I never was a hardcore NBA fan though, I didn’t even have a favorite team. Right now I’m still at that point and I mostly root for the guys that came out from Baltimore.
I played basketball mostly every day of my childhood. I was the only person in the neighborhood who had a basketball hoop in the back yard. I would have a lot of friends coming over daily just to play ball. I would rush from school, do my homework fast and just get there and start playing. Eventually everyone would know the moment I came back and they would come and play. Although I’ve spent a lot of time there I never was a big time street ball player. Sports was pretty much a part of me always. Aside from Basketball I also played a lot of Baseball and Football, I was really good at both of those sports! Football actually was my best sport until High School until I got a coach who did not play me at all, I lost my interest in it eventually. That was actually a gift in disguise, thanks to that I focused on Basketball fully and got my first scolarship at the age of 14 years old from LA Salle University!
When I think of those days I need to say that my parents did a great job. They always stressed the imporatance of education in a young man’s life. If my grades would go bad I wouldn’t be allowed to play. That kept my focus high because sports always made me happy and without it I think I would just go crazy. So I behaved properly and took my education seriously.
From the first time I saw an NBA game I knew I wanted to go professional. I knew that basketball could lead me to living a comfortable life for me and my family. Some of the aspects of my game have been there since the start. I’ve always been a good shooter, had a specialty in getting to the FT line, and been able to score. I’ve been good for a while and every team always put players on me to play aggressive because I was skinny but that always made better. Now when people do it I already know what to expect and it doesn’t bother me.
I hope that my life and dedication can be a good motivation for all the young basketball adepts out there. I always try to set a good example and I know the players are looking up to me. I am always available to give advice and help if they need it. Ultimately I want to see everyone to have a chance to be successful in life. It wasn’t an easy process for me so I want the youngesters to be educated about everything to make it easier for them.
In the future I would love to organize camps for kids. I wanted to establish myself first before I would start running them. Some people just do it for the money but I would like to be a serious help to the kids and that’s it. This will happen in the near future for sure, I already have talks in progress so just wait for it!
I hope my short story can and will be a motivation for any young ballers around the world! Believe in yourself, work hard and always keep your head up! Good luck.