Chris Bosh was a featured speaker at this year's Texas Tribune Fest in Austin, TX. The Festival highlights politicians and investigative reporters from around the nation, including Hillary Clinton and Liz Cheney. However, there is an emphasis on those from Texas, including Ted Cruz and Wendy Davis.
While not a politician, Chris Bosh is a native Texans who has made an impact on the world. Impactful Texans, such as he and Lyle Lovett, were invited to speak.
Bosh was born in Dallas, Texas, and now resides with his wife and five children in Austin, Texas. He said during his interview that he challenges anybody to beat his claim that he played on every court near, in and around Dallas while growing up.
In doing so, he saw the condition of AAU ball in the state of Texas. He says he also asked players from the North East United States what teams they chose to play on for extracurricular league play.
They told him, "Whoever had shoes for us."
He emphasized how sad it is that any guy with a truck full of shoes could start a league for kids.
My son experienced something similar. Kids pay to play in these leagues. Some of the "coaches," while they have a love of the game and maybe some experience playing are not always solvent themselves. I once refused to let my son and his friends ride to a tournament in San Antonio, Texas because they were packing the kids too many to a car, the car was questionable, and they were packing coolers under their feet. These were basketball players, who are big kids. Another mother and I drove them ourselves.
Bosh wants to help improve the situation. His own camp for kids he calls a "Dojo."
An admirer of martial arts, Bosh uses the metaphor to train players to show respect, listen to the coach and to him, the "sensei". He puts the participants through a rigorous program designed to replicate what professional basketball training camps have their players do.
The participants are high school students, and he wants them to appreciate and understand the hard work that goes into pursuing the dream of basketball.
He says he also encourages them to look into all aspects of the game and the business. He knows the ones who make it onto the court in the NBA are few, and wants the ones who love the game to be able to stay in and around it, even if not on the courts.
Bosh's own career started at age 19, and ended abruptly with a pulmonary embolism at age 33. He described the shock and depression of losing his beloved career unexpectedly. He wants young aspiring players to know that it's important to have a follow-up life plan.
His own includes writing. He's written a book for young people titled Letters To A Young Athlete. He says as he read it again recently, he more deeply understood that the lessons for becoming an athlete are indeed life lessons.
The book goes beyond training advice, although one of the key points he makes is to train beyond your limits. That's good advice for all walks of life.
He recommends aspiring players become well-rounded. He is also a musician who has his own recording studio, Daddy Jack Records.
To wrap up the interview, Bosh said we must vote. He doesn't understand people who don't. He sees the United States as a team, where individual ego has no place, and politicians and voters should be doing what's best for the entire team. Another point he makes in his book.