It's not everyday a California kid gets to visit a place like Brownwood Texas. When I got picked up from my airport by Chief Mike Corley I knew I was going to a place that would hold a special spot in my heart. When I spoke on the phone with friends and family and they asked where I was, I told them, "I'm in Texas bro, like Texas, Texas.. Not Dallas Texas, the Texas you see in movies."
Chief and his wife drove me over an hour into the town of Brownwood from Abilene where I landed and during the drive he asked if I played basketball. I love basketball, I mean afterall, it was my first dream playing basketball in the NBA but I hadn't touched a court or shot a ball since I was in prison and that had been 5 years. It turned out that him asking if I liked to play basketball was an invitation to play pick up ball at the local college. I knew this would be a lot of fun but what I didn't expect was for the Chief of Brownwood who could dang near be my dad, would want to play 5 games. I was blown out after the 4th game and the 5th was game was all ego.. I didn't want this old guy to make me look out of shape, even though I was since my battle with ulcerative colitis was still coming to a close and I hadn't exercised in 2 years. I had a lot of fun doing that and his invitation to do so was really awesome.
The following day was my day to speak to over 300 kids in the Brownwood area at the Brownwood Coliseum. When I travel to speak i'm always so amazed at the venues I get to speak at. So many places have a rich history in the towns they are at and the coliseum was no different. The kids were 10 feet above me wrapped around the facility. Every group of kids have something unique about them and how they respond that makes them a lifelong memory. At the end of my speech, kids often want to take pictures but since they were above, one kid wanted to toss me his phone to take a selfie with it. I love taking pics with the kids and conversating so I obliged. Basically it turned into a 100 kids tossing down their cellphones to me as I took a selfie and threw them back up. It was such a fun time and one i'll never forget thanks to the awesome kids and over generous hospitality from the city of Brownwood and Chief Mike Corley.