Toronto Star: Antoine Wright - From Mean Streets to NBA
Old 10-05-2009, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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OTTAWA–He saw the dangers on the street corners, knew that the drug dealers and the petty thieves could swallow up the hopes and dreams and chances of so many kids like him.

He knew all about the gangs and how bleak the future could be if he fell in with them, how he could be lost before he had a chance to find out anything about himself, about life, about the world.

He had to leave the streets of San Bernardino, Calif., before he became a victim of them.

He had a brother in prison and friends and other relatives who had also been incarcerated.

And the streets were calling Antoine Wright.

He wouldn't answer.
LINK - Toronto Star
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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"I tell them to just believe in themselves," he said. "So often in our neighbourhoods, the NBA is so far-fetched, college basketball is so far-fetched, you just have to kind of have a tunnel vision.

"I tell them just to believe in themselves, that sounds so cliché, but it's the thing that helped me the most."
I am not trying to "attack" Wright (in fact, I like him a lot as a player), but they call it cliche for a reason - it is a cliche. The thing that helped you the most, Antoine, is a wonderful set of genes your parents bestowed upon you. Because for 99.9 percent of kids from the ghetto, a private high school, a college on athletic scholarship or an NBA draft are unreachable no matter how hard they believe in themselves or how hard they work. Hence... the gangs...
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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wow. so it's impossible for a nash or a boykins or a bogues to come out of the ghetto? you need to be a huge athletic dude???
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Mike, I think I get what you're saying, but honestly, I don't know if it's really fair to grab at a few small point sto deflate a good story.

How many kids don't make it to college or thr NBA that could BECAUSE of gangs?
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The message should be to focus on education as a means to escape poverty. If basketball can provide a means to that education then that's certainly something to work towards. Too many kids see the NBA as an alternative means to get rich/girls etc. vs. dealing drugs or adopting a gangster lifestyle, when the life of a pro athlete is beyond the grasp of most.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree Dann38. The message of believing in yourself is still relevant, but it should be stretched beyond that of just basketball or any other sport. Not saying that that dream is not attainable, but lets face it, the odds are always against you if you don't have that education. Who doesn't have that friend who dominated school basketball who you know had a chance of making it to the big leagues but didn't?
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mike Klander View Post
Who doesn't have that friend who dominated school basketball who you know had a chance of making it to the big leagues but didn't?
I don't.


And Wright did say...

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"I think people put basketball before education. Me going to that school, I really had to prove to my peers and the faculty that I was there to learn and basketball was secondary."
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah I've never heard this exact story before with names substituted in and out.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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so whats your point??

you're showing your age if you're saying the story is shitty and old.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Man it's just one of those things... It's lost is specialness to me.

Great, mean streets to NBA. Good for him, I'm glad he managed to make something of himself.

How about I see this article about a doctor or CEO or something sometimes? It's ALWAYS sports. It has lost its appeal to me.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The part Acie posted makes me think it needs to have the kind of voice-overs you find in movie trailers. A little overblown. But it is true that not believing in yourself, cliche or not, is going to lead to bad things, rich or poor. While the challenge of finding something in yourself to believe in when you're in a depressed environment has to be pretty big.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superjudge View Post
Mike, I think I get what you're saying, but honestly, I don't know if it's really fair to grab at a few small point sto deflate a good story.

How many kids don't make it to college or thr NBA that could BECAUSE of gangs?
I am not trying to diminish the story or the message. But even that private school - does he get in if he is not a gifted athlete? No, he doesn't, and you know it. And if his family is poor and the only means to "escape" are the gangs - well, you know the drill, right?

Not advocating gang violence, just having real problems believing that such stories could motivate anyone...
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by •LX• View Post
The part Acie posted makes me think it needs to have the kind of voice-overs you find in movie trailers. A little overblown. But it is true that not believing in yourself, cliche or not, is going to lead to bad things, rich or poor. While the challenge of finding something in yourself to believe in when you're in a depressed environment has to be pretty big.
There is a lot of debate as to what comes first with "believing in yourself"...It's chicken and the egg.

People that generally succeed will "believe in themselves" because they have been successful before.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Renihan_00 View Post
There is a lot of debate as to what comes first with "believing in yourself"...It's chicken and the egg.

People that generally succeed will "believe in themselves" because they have been successful before.
Agreed. But when you actually are ashamed or hateful of yourself from the start, then you are capable of very bad things, and that sort of shame can be bred in bad environments. To me the real story would be what was done to make Antoine's living environment less destructive to his personal worth than what otherwise might have been the case. That's where any of the useful info lies for me.
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