I was a popular kid in high school excelling at basketball, baseball, track and cross-country. I got a full scholarship for basketball and baseball. I was a two sport athlete and never realized how good I had it. I had a awesome family that caref and loved me. Everything was great as I was doing what I loved. I left college after three years to go home and just go to school and work. I attended the university of Louisville with hopes of becoming a school teacher. After about 2-3 months there I ran into a friend that I had played basketball with earlier on and he was playing for Louisville. He talked me into coming and playing with the team in some open gyms. So I loved to play basketball and always had dreams of the NBA. After a couple days of playing I was approached by coach Eve's. An assistant coach for Louisville. He asked if I would be willing to come to a team practice that started in about a month. Well I thought what do I got to loose as I always dreamed of playing for a major division one program and who else would be better than Louisville. They had a pretty good coach at the time by the name of Denny crum. A hall of fame coach with 2 NCAA national championships to his credit. So I hit the weight room and worked out 3 times a day for 3-4 hours. Handling a full academic load and all that training was pretty tough. So the first day of practice came and as I walked in the locker room amongst all those elite athletes and big names, Marcus maybin, Nate Johnson, Deon Edwards, Tobiah hopper, Troy Williams, Reese gains , Cameron murry I was living my dream about how I had always pictured it. But what I didn't know was those guys did not like a new guy coming in and trying to play with them. That week of tryouts for me was, well pretty rough. 14 stitches in my chin from a elbow, 7 stitches above my eye from being shoved to the floor. Bruised ribs from a punch that magically no one else saw. A concussion and just 4 stitches below my eye for what one unamed player said I deserved. So I know what you are thinking, there is no way. It sounded like I was in the ufc octagon. I felt like it. They hated me being there and I wanted to quit so many times. But I had always been a tough kid and stubborn and never had I quit anything and I talked myself out of it every night as I sat in the tub of ice. But one thing I did notice was, we were having practice 2-3 times a day, was that the players were starting to talk a little to me a see that they could beat the heck out of me but I was going to get right back up and go twice as hard. The coaching staff, managers and trainers were also starting to see I was going to do what I had to do. So the week went on and I had my moments were I shot the ball really well and played as if those guys could not believe a 6'1" 195 lb white kid could play some basketball. To me besides getting the hell beat out of me, it was something I had always done and worked for. So Friday came and coach crum blew the whistle and as many times before, bring it in guys. "Good practice, see you all 6:00 in the morning". Well I walked away and over to the sidelines I went and sat down. You see it was Friday and my week of tryouts was over. As I sat there, I remember what my dad and mom use to tell me. " as long as you played your hardest and gave it your all and left everything out on the floor, than you had nothing to be ashamed of. Win or loose. That is how I have always been with sports and life. Thank you mom and dad. I had unlaced my shoes and was heading to the locker room to shower and head home. Coach Eve's said Chad, hellnof a week. Padded me on the back and off he went. He had told me if coach crum doesn't say anything to me that well I wasn't going to be on the team. He had not said a word all week. The only time he even made eye contact with me was when he said who are you. Lol. So in the locker room after I showered I sat there lights barely on just me and Marcus in the room. As he walked by he bumped me and said, just wanted to hit you one last time. Than he said, and I will always appreciate it, you are one bad ass whiteboy. I laughed and he said you deserve to be here no matter what happens. I said thanks and away he went. I felt good but I just knew I should of put more time in or maybe I should of been more talkative. But I thought I did what I always thought I could do, to compete with elite athletes at an elite university. Just than I heard the locker room door open and coach Davenport walked in and to be honest we didn't like each other. He looked at me like I had no business being here and I could tell he just flat out didn't like me. He said coach crum wants you in his office now. Okay I replied. Thanks coach. Than he stopped and said just what I thought "to be honest I didn't think you deserved a chance to even be out there with those guys. I wanted to punch him so hard, but I said nothing. Than he said but, with a long hesitation, even I can be proven wrong. Not very often he said but I wanted to let you know whatever coach decides you are a hell of a player. Than off he went. I thought that all the coaches surly knew what coach crum wanted. But as I walked to his office I kept thinking a hall of fame coach, that coached under john wooden. I just knew he was going to say you played hard but you just aren't at this level. To be honest I knew I belonged there but I didn't want no sugar coating. Well here I was, come in Chad. I walked in sat down vand he started. When coach Eve's brought you in here I just thought you was going to be scared of the players here. But I see you was not scared. you need to work on your ball handling, and etc... He told me this and that and said I reminded him of this player he coached at UCLA. Well I was astounded at the comments and thankful, but I just wanted to hear a yes or no. Than as if he was reading my mind he said yes. I said sir, yes for what. Yes I want you on my team. He said if he had a scholarship for me he would give me a full ride. I was blown away and so excited. He said he wanted to meet my parents and told me things I dreamed I would hear a coach of his caliber say. Well you know how the rest goes. I made the team as a walk-on and earned the friendships of the individuals on the team. We are still friends today, and I owe alot to the opportunity coach crum gave me cause it opened doors and still till this day does. So I didn't go on to start or to the NBA, but I did get a free education and made life long friends. And I owe that all to because I was taught at a early age,"Today I can do anything.