From the day I was born all I wanted to do was play basketball. All day and all night I would play, working on my game, dribbling, shooting, trying to be a combo version of Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson. I got to be pretty good if I say so myself, ranked top 10 in the nation and number 1 in the state. I was set to go the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill after my senior season of High school. I was so excited to attend the same school as Michael Jordan, my idol. It was the state championship we were up by 2 with 10 seconds left we just needed one defensive stop. As the opposing team inbounded the ball, I shot the lane to get the steal to go down court and slam dunk the ball with so much authority, BOOM! we were state champions but I was on the ground holding my knee. I won and lost that day, I couldn't even celebrate with my team because I was rushed to the hospital to learn I had a torn ACL and MCL and my knee would have to be restructured. To make matters worse I lost my scholarship and my dream died..3 months later my mom became suddenly ill and died. I was so depressed but the last thing she game me was a little black book and said to write down everyone's name that doubted me and that my career was over and make them eat their words. That inspired me so much that I started to push harder in my rehab. Five days a week twice a day, I was determined to get back to my old self and even better than before because I knew my mom was watching me and I had to make her proud. She was my motivation my inspiration and even though I couldn't see her physically I could feel her, some days it was if she was talking to me "You've got more in you" "dig deeper" "what is your dream son?" and that would get me to the finish line. In the evenings I would go home and pull out that little black book and review the names I wrote in it and sometimes adding new names to the list. staying connected to my mom was the only thing I had at the time. My girl broke up with me because she said she didn't know how to be there for me and felt I should be alone, I honestly believe that she didn't believe in me anymore so wanted to create and new path..so what did I do? I let her go and I added her name to the list. My pops wasnt doing to well since my mom passed he had fallen into a deep depression, I would here him crying at night and drinking was his only way of coping, that's how he fell asleep most nights. It got so bad that it affected his work, he ended up being layed off because his productivity decrease so much which just made the situation worse. Not only did I have to rehab but I had to get a part time job to help bring money into the house but that little I did make didn't do much and bills were piling up. We were so behind on out mortgage the bank kept calling and we kept begging for an extention, they lets us slide for a while but finally said no and if we didn't pay the entire 18,000 in the next 30 days we would lose the house. Where am I going to get 18,000 dollars from in the next 30 days?! I make 15 dollars an hour!! I was pacing back and forth, losing my mind as I walked to work. The only good news I had gotten was my rehab was almost done. I was about 90 percent and could get back on the court soon. It had been a full year and four months. As I walked by a flyer on the store door it said 1 on 1 basketball tournament grand prize 20,000 dollars! In my mind I shound enter but I was thinking could my knee handle it, was I ready? I haven't played in so long, would my doctor clear me? could I even win? Then I heard my mom say in my head " boy shut up! what have you been training for? go save our family". The next day and called my doctor and asked if it was ok if I played, he was aganist it so what did I do? I added his name to my little black book and signed up anyway. The day had finally come and I had about a week before the bank threw my father and I out on the streets so I had to win! but the other players looked focused..some saw me and laughed, they knew who I was but know I had a career threating injury so I guess they thought it was smooth sailing. I looked one last time at my little black book of names of haters and non believers and now it was time to prove the doubters wrong. It was been a long day and I was headed to the finals. One more game I kept telling myself but my knee started to hurt and swell a little bit but there was no way I wasn;t going to play in this game. It was back and forth the final game was to 11 and you had to win by 2. The score was tied 9 to 9 and I was on defense.. I kept telling myself one stop, dig deep! as my opponent drove the ball, I poked it away and layed the ball up.. the score now 10 to 9 my way, my ball suddenly a kid yells take it to the rack!! with every ounce of energy I have left in my body I jab step right and go left and take off and slam the ball down!! I was so excited that I won the 20,000 and was going to save my family that I didnt realize that was the first time I dunked since my injury but this time I was still on my feet!! There was another level of joy!! Then the final thing was there was a scout from the G league that game me his card to call him about a tryout.. eventually I make it to the NBA and I still use my Little back book to this day, so never give up on your dreams just go Hard 2 the rack!