Fans of teams in particular sports and the players they cheer for and boo against are human beings. Remember that and never forget! Yet we treat them like divine robots sent from another galaxy as idols we can worship or curse. We have to remember that players like Keyon Dooling of the NBA are human beings just like the rest of us and have experienced real life issues just like the rest of us. Do you know someone who was abused as a child, a person who was pressured into criminal activity at an elementary age and/or grew up in a rough neighborhood having to overcome poverty, violence and the law for their entire lives? Oh then becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA! Well if you didn't you'll learn about one now and during our interview Keyon this upcoming Sunday on "The Sports Clinic" with Lamont and myself we'll learn even more.
His new book called "What's Driving You? How I Overcame Abuse and Learned to Lead in the NBA" is a must read not for athletes alone or only people who were abused as a child or even as an adult, but for every single person that can read. Paparazzi craves stories like these and 99% of them are covered up. Instead Dooling opens up and tells it like it is. He's become a true inspiration for countless people around the country. Lamont and I truly look forward to speaking with Mr. Keyon Dooling about life and basketball. The show will be live from 10:00 - 12:00 presented by The Sports Chronicles Radio Network.
We look at Keyon Dooling, now as a former professional basketball player with his name written on the back of some NBA uniform and we think he's got it made in the shade because he's a millionaire living his dream. But you have no idea what's going on beneath that uniform and the what the person, not the player is feeling from their lives outside of basketball.
Dooling had to overcome incredible obstacles in his life to get to the point where he's at today. We'll save the in depth look into Keyon's life for Sunday's interview but it's important you know that he is one of thousands if not millions of people who have gone through the type of childhood Dooling had to endure.
It started when he was sexually abused at a very young age. That alone is life altering especially since it wasn't an isolated incident as it happened numerous times. Dooling was also exposed to sexual abuse in other ways involving things I care not to write but Keyon himself will explain further as he's been doing now for the past two years as an ambassador to the NBA and other organizations in which he has personally founded like "Dooling Enterprises" which is a direct company involving Keyon's life altering experiences. He tours the country and meets with certain groups, NBA teams and Developmental League players to teach his peers about the life he lived and how to rise above it.
Keyon Dooling believes "creating physical, mental and spiritual balance is essential to personal and professional success. No child should have to endure sexual assault, but if they do, should have the opportunity for healing and restoration." Dooling preaches words like this around the country as a motivational speaker and quite honestly you can't get better information about a subject than someone who has actually lived it and didn't read about it in some article.
Throughout his entire life he has had to deal with this incredibly heavy burden that was kept in discretion for a long time. But Dooling felt it was the time to come out with this information so he can serve as a voice to those who have experienced the same type of things. And even a voice to those who can help prevent these horrific situations in the future. He is actually performing and personally wrote a monologue entitled "I Am Respect Tour" where he addresses the aforementioned issues and much more.
When you talk about a person who had to grow up fast dealing with the terrible things that happened to a guy like Keyon, you can go down one of two roads. You can take the highway to hell and allow those inner demons to take away your soul, or you can take the high road and harness that anger into a more productive environment. Fortunately Dooling went with the latter as he went on to play ball at the University of Missouri and obviously turning pro in the 2000 - 2001 season. The Orlando Magic drafted Dooling 10th overall but later traded him to the L.A. Clippers that night. It really wasn't until 2012 where Dooling clearly peaked as both an athlete and a person.
Dooling reached the playoffs 5 times in his long and productive 12 years of NBA service. The most recent was the year he officially retired in 2013 where he and the Memphis Grizzlies made a serious run at the NBA Finals. Some people say that playing for 7 teams in 12 seasons is a sign that nobody wants you. That couldn't be the furthest thing from the truth because if you read the last sentence carefully there were 7 teams that wanted Keyon Dooling on their team from his early 20's to his early 30's.
After all the childhood issues and all the moving around he had to do while his horrible memories still haunted him, Dooling was able to fight through it all and became the extraordinary man he is today. Instead of collecting his millions and enjoying early retirement by watching TV and gambling all day, Keyon his restless in his attack on the attackers. He leads by example and his words can be heard by anyone, and everyone should listen. Dooling has finally found happiness as he is married to his high school sweetheart and have 4 kids to represent their happiness. Men like Keyon Dooling prove you don't have to be the greatest basketball player to ever live in order to be influential. He is at peace now after terrible tragedies occurred earlier in life. Now he gives back in a variety of ways. He has quite a tale to tell!