Getting to the NBA is not easy. Of the millions of kids playing basketball around the world today, only a very small percentage will make it to the Association. Along the way, there will be highs and lows, ups and downs.
As they prepare for the 2007-08 season, 30 current players reflect back on their journey to the NBA and some of the things they went through to fulfill their dream of playing basketball for a living.
Finish this sentence…Growing up, the basketball court was my...
EO: The basketball court was my playground.
To what lengths would you go for a chance to play basketball, even if it were just a shoot around?
EO: Houston was pretty hot. During the summer time, it was super hot. When I was younger I had to practice outside in the heat.
Who was your basketball hero and why?
EO: Hakeem Olajuwon, he was a Houston Rocket, two-time champion, he was Nigerian and I am Nigerian.
What is your favorite childhood basketball memory?
EO: When the Rockets won that first championship.
Best piece of basketball advice you received was...
EO: You just have to be patient. You have to let things develop. You can never be in a rush.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to play in the NBA?
EO: Work hard and have patience.
How old were you when you received your first basketball and what did it feel like to have your very own?
EO: I guess I was like nine or so. It was cool, I mean I was a kid to get anything was great.
When did you realize you had serious game?
EO: When I was 17, my junior year when I was trying to go to college. I was in the AAU circuit and I started getting letters from colleges. So I was like alright let's do it.
Did it ever strike you in the middle of a game in front of a packed house, "Man, I can't believe I'm here…"
EO: Man, sometimes I still feel that way. That never goes away.
How proud is your family that you made it to the NBA?
EO: They are proud. With me, it is expected. It is not like it came out of nowhere. They knew what kind of person I was.