Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Significant Living

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James Brown ; Nathan Whitaker. Publisher: Faithwords , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Unusual book "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. Review : Media personalities tend to have big egos.

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Published by FaithWords In college, Brown had a promising NBA career ahead of him, but his admitted complacency ushered him off the Atlanta Hawks' squad in the early '70s. When he recovered from grieving the death of his life dream, he committed himself to achievement and fulfilling his adult responsibilities even in the face of racism and the often cutthroat world of television. At times, Brown's attempt to glean life lessons from organized sports becomes clich d. The most genuine passages are those in which Brown writes from his heart about the partnership he cherishes with his wife, his faith life and the pride he feels about his daughter.

For all his success, it is clear that Brown's primary motivation in life is to be a constructive role model. There were still six of us out on the basketball court.

It had been a long workout and our bodies—white and black—were glistening and dripping with sweat. It had been a long training camp, but with the exhibition season fast approaching, we were getting in some extra work. I was receiving an education in Savannah summers. They are incredibly hot, with little breeze, and even extended past what I had always considered to be a normal summer.

DC certainly gets hot, but the grip of the summer heat at least starts to break a bit by September. Not only was it sweltering and still outside in the ninety-two degree Georgia heat, it was even hotter inside the Savannah Civic Center. There were only sixteen or seventeen of us left in camp, and a handful of us were getting in some extra work after practice. It was a combined camp, consisting of the Atlanta Hawks veteran players along with a few of us rookies who had lasted this long.

This was both a culmination and a commencement. The apex of my basketball career to date, and yet merely the threshold of the true dream which God had placed in my heart, making use of the talents that He had given me. My professional basketball career lay before me: the dream of playing in the National Basketball Association with some of the best basketball players in the world.

I felt I belonged. I was where I wanted to be.

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Shortly the twelve-man squad would be leaving the Savannah summer and its oppressive heat behind for the slightly cooler weather of an Atlanta autumn to begin the exhibition and regular season of The Rockets, of the American Basketball Association, opted to wait until the sixth round because they—correctly—had ascertained that I would prefer to play at the highest level, in the National Basketball Association. I had worked too hard and too diligently, and sacrificed too many other things for too many years to not pursue this at the highest level, with the Hawks, even if the Rockets were optimistic that I would make the squad.

I was having a good camp, and like any competitive athlete, I had been taught that there was no challenge so great that I could not overcome it. By all accounts, I was a leaper. I was hailed as one of the best leapers to come out of the District of Columbia basketball ranks, which helped offset my size—I am only six feet five inches tall. I would need every bit of that jumping ability if I was going to enjoy the long-lived career that I believed I would have in the NBA.

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Some of the things taking place in that camp could be taught and learned. He could do unbelievable things with a basketball—dribble between his legs and behind his back at full speed, and whip the craziest, unexpected passes your way, with mustard on them so you had to be alert or risk losing a tooth.

Role of a Lifetime : Reflections on Faith, Family, and Significant Living

He could dribble a basketball in each hand—two balls simultaneously—and beat me and the rest of the squad down the court, while each of us were only dribbling one ball. Leaping ability, however, is something innate that inspires awe. Those were the things that could make the difference between championships and mediocrity. That leaping ability had made me a high school center, even though I was relatively short by basketball standards.

Humorously, I often tell people that I began high school as a six-foot, six-inch freshman, but graduated as a six-foot, five-inch senior. As a center I had been a two-time high school All-American, and one of the top five prep players in the country, coming out of the storied basketball program at DeMatha Catholic High School in Washington, DC. In large part because of my leaping ability, that made me—by those who followed such things at the time—one of the greatest leapers in DC history. Coming up I was tough playing inside—in the paint. I blocked shots and rebounded better than players far bigger than I was, employing a combination of what I would describe as ability and tenacity. My opponents might have characterized things a bit differently.

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But the truth is—I wanted the ball. I also had a very soft corner jump shot, which I could take out to the wing with similar success as well.