Monday, February 28, 2011

Living The Dream


      What does it truly mean to live the dream? Maybe we should take a glimpse into the life of former Mark Morris High School and Northern Arizona University basketball standout Josh Wilson.

Wilson, who is currently playing basketball for Kaposvari KK which is a professional team in Hungary, is averaging just over 19 points and four assists per game. He is not only quickly making a name for himself. In just his second season (averaged just over 14 pts. per game in his rookie season playing in Germany) he earned a spot in the Hungary Division-1 all star game where he tallied 16 points! Scoring 16 points in any professional game is implausible itself, but let alone a game in which the best of the best come together to show off their skills.

This is without doubt a product of god given talent, correct? Wrong, while we spend our summer days complaining about the blistering heat, (85 would be considered blistering here in the Northwest) Wilson is making sure that he can rest easy at night knowing that not a single player on the planet worked harder than he did. It all starts at 6:00 a.m. when he runs through a rigorous series of drills to shape every piece of his game with mentor and friend Coach Roosevelt Smith Jr. After spending hours working through these drills Josh can finally go home and relax, right? You guessed it, wrong again! While most of us would be drowning in a pile of our own sweat by now, Josh is focused on another aspect of his game, shooting. He is now busy putting up shot after shot until he gets above 500, often times hurling as many as 1,000 shots! Believe it or not, Wilson manages to go through a second workout after this is completed. What generates this type of motivation? What makes this guy tic?

Josh was born and raised in Longview, Washington and believes that having a sports oriented family and being the youngest of 3 children helped fuel his hunger to become what he is today. “My brother and sister and I would put wire hangers in the closet door frame and use a balled up sock as a ball. If you got dunked on you’d get a door knob in the back. Being the youngest I had to scrap and fight for everything and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Josh also shows admiration towards his parents in molding him into the man he is today. “We were taught to do what’s right, work hard, believe in ourselves, and to never ever quit. I apply these lessons to all facets of my life. Without the constant guide and example of my Father and the unconditional love of my Mother I would not be near where I am today.”

Wilson whom like I mentioned previously is currently playing professional basketball almost had his dreams crushed when he suffered an injury to his foot his senior season at Northern Arizona University. Wilson broke his foot coming down from a rebound in a regular season match-up against Big Sky rival Eastern Washington University. After experiencing a number of un-characteristic injuries his senior season this injury was not only more serious than the others, but an injury of this nature is extremely tough to come back from.

His foot wasn’t the only thing broken that evening, Wilson’s spirit was also crushed. “Needless to say I was worried about whether my professional dreams had ended that night in Cheney, Washington.”  Josh went on to add, “I had a terrible senior year and to make it worse I broke my foot a second time that summer.” But you don’t think that Josh is going to let a broken foot or two get in his way of accomplishing his life-long dream, right? If by now you can’t see what kind of determination and resolve this guy has then you are sick!  Wilson battled back from injury through a long rehabilitation process and in the mean time spent hours marketing himself through the internet to show off his talents to professional teams overseas. “I googled and searched for any and every agent and team I could find and emailed them my information. My website has highlights, full games, and stats from my career so anyone interested could immediately see if I was for them.”  Well we obviously know by now that Wilson’s hard work and resilience paid off yet once again.

       Wilson, like most basketball players have the ultimate dream of lacing up his sneakers in an NBA locker room and taking his skills and showcasing them in front of millions of fans. For those of you who doubt that a small town boy from Longview, Washington could ever achieve an accomplishment of that height, if I were you I would not bet on it. The passion that this man shows for his love of basketball is unlike anything I have ever seen. And for those kids who watch basketball on TV. and want to one day be like them, turn off the TV. and go work harder than anybody else could even imagine of doing. It’s what Josh Wilson did, and it’s what it takes if one day you want to truly live out your dreams.

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