I didn't raise any quitters.
That was what my mom said to me when I was playing basketball in Europe, during one of my low points. I didn't raise any quitters.
She was right too. I might have been away from my mom, my girlfriend, and my daughter, but she was right. I'm not a quitter. But if I'm being honest, that period of my life was the closest I came to quitting.
It was the 2013-2014 season, and I remember the feeling of just wanting to be comfortable. I was chasing after my dream of playing in the NBA, but instead of actually playing in the NBA, I was playing over 4,500 miles away from home in France.
Playing overseas can be tough for any player, but it's definitely a lot tougher when you're a dad. My daughter had been born just weeks before I headed out to France, and the entire time I was out there I never got to see her. My girlfriend was able to visit one time, but I never got to see my daughter. I was doing this whole basketball thing for her, and yet the only time I was seeing my daughter was on a phone or laptop.
Here's the thing about chasing dreams: the harder it is to achieve them, the more you question why you're even chasing after them in the first place.
I think one of the reasons my mom wouldn't let me quit was because she knew I was stronger than I was giving myself credit for. That's because my strength didn't come from within...It came from God.
Philippians 4:13 is my favorite verse from the Bible and it says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
That verse was true when I played at Alabama, and it was true when I was playing in France, and it was still true when I decided to come back home to the United States. If I ever wanted to play in the NBA, I would have to go through the D-League first.
(Cover photo courtesy Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images)