NBA players come from all over, both literally and metaphorically. Dirk Nowitzki is a German who had to learn the saxophone to become an NBA prospect. O.J. Mayo played varsity basketball in seventh grade, averaging 23 points a game for a team that must have been pretty bad. Luke Walton’s dad is Bill Walton. These guys come from everywhere, but there’s one thing that they have in common — hard work. (You can find the rest of this paragraph in my self-help book “Cliché Openers and How to Blog Them.”)
But there might not be anyone in the league who worked as hard as a youngster as Chris Wilcox. And I’m not talking, necessarily, about on the court. I’m talking more about these incredible stories he told Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com from when he worked whatever job he could find as a kid.
“I worked in the fields and did everything,” Wilcox told CSNNE.com. “I’m a country boy. I picked tobacco. We had dogs chasing hogs back. We had everything. You name it, I did it.” [...]
“I was in the country, so it wasn’t even a town,” Wilcox said. “Tobacco fields and all that all the way around. Everywhere around me, it was all farm land. You could easily get work. The main thing in North Carolina was tobacco. School wouldn’t even be in yet if the tobacco wasn’t out of the fields, they would push school back.
“I picked tobacco. I hung tobacco in the barn. … In tobacco fields, a tobacco barn isn’t anything but a barn in the middle of the field that’s just been sitting there. So when you open the door, you could see anything in there. [If you saw a snake] you had to kill it, but I never messed around with snakes. That’s when you get the big rats, everything.” [...]
“We used to have dogs in the neighborhood to chase the pigs back when they get out,” he said. “They’d give us five dollars if you bring your dog up there and chase the hogs back into the pen. I’m deep down in the country.”
Well, that is quite the upbringing. Some kids have a paper route, some kids hang tobacco and kill snakes. You know how it is.
I have to imagine Chris Wilcox has some pretty insane stories, so I’d like to offer him a title for a book, should he ever decide to write one — “Hogs, Dogs and Snakes: The Chris Wilcox Story.” I think it’ll be a best-seller, just like “Cliché Opening Paragraphs and How to Blog Them.”