Small World: Travis Ford And Shaq
By John Helsley
follow on Twitter @jjhelsley
As I studied the photo of Shaquille O’Neal and Travis Ford in our paper Wednesday morning, a triangle came into view.
Last week, I interviewed former LSU coach Dale Brown for our Sunday Collected Wisdom – and it’s an all-time great one, read it here – and both Shaq and Ford were subjects of our conversation.
Brown, of course, discovered Shaq, who was a struggling 13-year-old hoops wannabe (albeit a 6-foot-9 wannabe) on a military base inGermanywhen he approached the coach in search suggestions on how to get in shape and be a better athlete.
On the spot, Brown, who was there to lift the spirits of troops, gave the young Shaq a few suggestions and promised to mail a videotape with more instruction when he returned to Baton Rouge.
I’ll let Brown tell it from here:
“We communicated back and forth and about eight weeks after that I got a letter from him and it said, ‘Coach Brown, I did everything you told me to do but my high school coach cut me off the team. He said I was too slow, too clumsy, I have too big of feet. I could never be a basketball player. What should I do?’
“I sat down, wondered what kind of profound statement I could make to a young man who just had his heart broken. I thought, ‘I’ll tell him about my life.’ So, ‘Dear Shaq, I’m real sorry what happened to you. But I found out in my life, every time I failed, felt inferior, somebody told me I couldn’t do something, I was heartbroken, I found something that worked for me and I think it’ll work for you. If you sincerely, always, try to do your very best, you never give up and persevere, sooner or later God will take care of everything else.’”
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 12757Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10379Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 9755Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9478Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6719Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 4489Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 4265Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 4197Oklahoma tornadoes: 27 remain hospitalized from tornadoes
- 3744Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 3743Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients