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What if I told you that I was 30 years old and was 6′ 1″ and I wanted to learn how to be successful defined by playing in the NBA. Would you think I had a chance?
Probably not! That’s exactly what happened to Horace Jenkins. Horace Jenkins always dreamed of playing in the NBA. At 11 years old he even told his mom he would play in the NBA some day. A few years ago, at 30 years old, Jenkins was the oldest rookie in the leagues history.
But how he got there isn’t the typical story you hear on Sports Center.
1993: Jenkins graduates from high school after riding the bench for 3 years. And during his senior year was even ineligible to play due to academic problems. After graduation he goes on to New Jersey’s Union County College and ends up averaging 18.4 points per game his freshmen year.
1994: Drops out of college and goes to work as an electrician for 2 years and then works an 11 dollar an hour job with a Scandinavian postal company in the U.S.
1998: Jenkins was noticed by coach Jose Rebimbas playing pro-am ball and landed a gig going back to school. Coach Rebimbas was blown away by Jenkins’ talent and was told that if he wanted to go back to school and play basketball, he had 45 minutes to call him back. The same year, that fall, Jenkins started school as a sophomore. He ended up leading his team to 2 Final Four playoff tournaments, earned three national “Player of the Year” awards and set the school records for points (1940) and single season scoring average (27.1 points per game).
2001: He was NOT drafted into the NBA after being projected a first round pick. So he moved to Italy to play basketball.
2003: Still playing basketball, he moved to Greece and averaged 20 points per game. After all this time, he was spotted by Pistons president Joe Dumars while watching tapes to keep up with a totally different draft pick (Andreas Glyniadakis).
2004: Jenkins gets invited to play in the Piston’s summer league. He lands a guaranteed one-year contract for about $385,000 with the Detroit Pistons. Later that year he gets put on the injured reserve for “back spasms”. Then rumors start of him being traded to the Chicago Bulls.
2005: Jenkins was back on the active roster by February. He says, “I’ve got to try and go out there and do more, and I have no problem with that. I’m a person who refuses to fail.”
THE HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL POINT: Read that last sentence in that quote. Refuse to fail. Are you that kind of person? Have you been thrown all over the world and still come out living your dream? If not, perhaps you need to adopt the motto “Refuse to Fail”. If you refuse to fail, all you’ll have in this life is set-backs. The end result is always the same… SUCCESS IN LIFE… which is ultimately HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL defined by Horace Jenkins!
Until next time keep looking and living forward!
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Thanks for the inspiring post. I am reminded of Seth Godin’s book The Dip and how we have to push through the tough times to reach success. If success were easy everyone would be successful. Anyway, thanks for a great post. I enjoyed reading it.
Thanks Burl. Seth has some great content. I’m a fan. I think I’m addicted to the Domino Project right now.