Beyond The Court

MY STORY

When you have identified yourself as an athlete, dedicated your whole life to the craft and are lucky enough to make it your career, you find that the narrative you tell typically begins and ends with the court.

MY STORY GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS

"Seven thousand people is a generous number to give my hometown, Robinson, Illinois. But, I wouldn't change it for the world. Throughout my childhood, I participated in every sport possible. From basketball to soccer, there wasn't a field or court I wasn't running around on.

Actually, I always thought that I was going to grow up and be a baseball player. It wasn't until I was a freshman in High School that it all changed. A 6 inch growth spurt over 6 months made it clear that I needed to solely focus on basketball.

I was fortunate enough to play two years in college at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana before deciding to go professional. At the age of 20, I was selected 11th by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2012 NBA Draft."

You see, basketball is my passion. It's what fires me up. It makes me hungry for more. It challenges me to be better. And (most of all), it's allowed me to take care of my loved ones.

BASKETBALL IS WHAT I DO.
IT IS NOT WHO I AM.

Growing up, I was built by struggles. Pain has blessed me with some of the best friends and family I could ask for. As I matured, basketball gave me direction. But, the love of those around me guided my purpose. It's that love that made me into who I am. The ability to give back, set a good example and positively effect other's lives are truly my biggest blessings.

If you want to know more about me beyond the court, watch my mini-documentary "Built To Rise".