(AV17200) Darkness to Sunlight: The Life-Changing Journey 1/2

(AV17200) Darkness to Sunlight: The Life-Changing Journey 1/2


do I need the mic my name is Ryan
McGuire I am the director of special events and the letter winters Club here
at Iowa State in the athletics department and it’s a it’s a pleasure
for me to do a real special introduction for you tonight the gentleman that you
are about to hear from really doesn’t need an introduction but I will give you
just a little bit of background on him so that you have a good idea of of the
man who’s about to speak to you I’ll save that for you okay thank you the
basketball resume is impressive back when he was a star for the Cyclones led
the big 8 in scoring two years averaging over 24 points a game joined Wilt
Chamberlain as the own leader the first two to score 600 points in a season
twice Wilt Chamberlain’s a pretty impressive name to be in that company
with longtime NBA player with Cincinnati Milwaukee Seattle Houston in 1998 Zeta
was inducted into the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame a great honor on this campus in
2003 and even greater honor his jersey was retired in Hilton Coliseum it still
hangs and we’ll hang forever in the rafters of Hilton Coliseum you know
that’s that’s the basketball resume and I know
xate is proud of that but that really only is the beginning of the story those
things are important but they really don’t show the measure of the man that
you’re about to hear from that measure is based on his family his faith and the
way the man treats people that that’s what’s been impressive to me I just met
him today and we met the basketball team over in Hilton Coliseum and then we you
know as we were walking out a few short conversations with Usher
and other people that were walking in and the one thing I noticed was that
everybody that walked away from those conversations had a smile on their face
they were touched by just a brief encounter with Sade and that’s that’s
truly the mark of a man is the way they treat people and and the mark they leave
with other with other people that they come in contact with so without any
further delay I’d like to introduce to you is a dub do Lizzy’s well thank you
very much I’m really honored to be back to Iowa State to Ames
it seems like it was only yesterday that I was running up and down a basketball
play basketball caught playing a child’s game called basketball but that child’s
game has given me something in my life that most people never get if it wasn’t
for basketball obviously I wouldn’t be up here talking to you right now and I
wouldn’t have gotten out of just the tough streets of Brooklyn New York so I
owe that to to God and all the wonderful people that have come come in contact in
my life I’ve been very fortunate I’ve been able to travel all over the United
States collegiately when I play for the Cyclones I will go to Nebraska I go to
Des Moines play Drake go to Oklahoma Norman
Kansas Lawrence that was the beginning of it and what I start noticing that
people are just people no matter where you might go they just want to take care
of their families you know they want to earn enough money to be happy and they
want to education for the kids and so on and so forth and that’s what I’ve
learned that’s domestically then they had to add
the pleasure traveling over to different countries like Germany and Copenhagen
and Sweden and Tunisia Istanbul Turkey and Mexico places like this and I’ve
noticed the same thing internationally that people just want to take care of
their families and they want to eat and want to be happy and that’s most people
in the world they want to be happy so I’ve been very fortunate to travel to
those places I was introduced as the person that you
know that brings smiles and happiness to people that I meet it did that didn’t
just happen that that happened to me naturally was something that’s God’s
given me ever since I was a little kid I was given that people seem to like me I
don’t know why it was something I was just given it was like a talent that
people get like I’m not too crazy about math but some people have a ability to
do mathematical problems and you know things like that engineering I was given
this social access expect aspect of it when I meet people I like people and I
like I like all all types of people I don’t care where you’re from I don’t
care what color you are I like people and I’ve had like I said
I’ve had the privilege of meeting some very fantastic people in my life here on
this earth at this time so when we look at what what else what I’ve found to in
my life what I found in my life is the fact that God is in control of
everything in this in a universe and I don’t care who you are whether you’re
Christian Jew Muslim Hindu everybody everybody was created by the creator of
the heavens and the earth and and that that’s where the first allegiance should
go to the Almighty because we were created by the Almighty
regardless what the religion you might be looking back I I can honestly say
that growing up in this tough streets of Brooklyn New York every aspect of my
life was kind of recorded and I was protected every every every step along
the way every step along the way I remember I lived in a very tough area
and I remember coming home one night and I lived I lived over a soulfood
restaurant across the street was a tavern and I was coming home one day and
the guys had some heroin and they had to syringe and they said
hey you want some of this I had to make a quick decision line it right away
so what I did I said oh my tummy hurts guys I’ll be right back my tummy
but the next week or the next day I needed I needed another excuse because
that my tummy wasn’t gonna work so the next time would say okay I used tummy
this time now next time we would say all my mother’s calling me I’d be right back
guys but you can see how that was the hand of the Almighty just protecting me
I didn’t succumb to that sometimes in our life you know our life was ruined by
a bad choice I’ve had friends who may be a better basketball player than I was at
the time they made a bad choice they decided to use some illegal substance
they decided to beat somebody up and hurt somebody but it decided to you know
rob somebody and do do bad things and you know they ended up in prison so
sometimes our life is his circumstances and again those circumstances deposited
circumstances in my life was because the Almighty was leading me in the right
direction why I can’t say I can’t say why I was chosen and my other friends
were not maybe it’s because they have to be more compassionate and I have to see
or my faith have to see you know I have more faith and that’s the way it
happened that’s the only way I could explain it my family wasn’t a good one
my mom and dad they never spoke to each other one day of my life there’s my dad
to the right to the left before yes any he was a detective for the city of New
York he probably was one of the first black detectives of New York City at
that time most excuse me but in that time most of the police in New York were
Irish and everybody you know in looking at my dad’s career he made about four
thousand six hundred and sixty nine dollars a year as a detective not much
money so police were almost set up to fail what would they do
they would take bribes my dad worked in this he works for the division of
weights and measures his job was to go into meat markets look at the butchers
and keep eye on the books is what they did in those days
a butcher would take they get a three pound I’d get a three pound chicken they
would have a one pound weight sticking in there would be four pounds and they
were removed the one pound weight so the poor housewife only got three three
chicken three pounds chicken wouldn’t paying four pounds for the chicken other
times what they used to do is take old meat like hamburger meat that was gray
and molded and it will put red dye in it to make it look fresh
so my my dad’s job was to go in cite him for violation that’s what that’s what
his job was so when is winners winners he got busted he got arrested for fraud
for taking kickbacks he bounced back he became a photographer and he was the one
who came on Don Smith night in the state of Iowa that was Don Smith night way
back when he came back and he did a lot of photography a lot of photos us all in
my book right now of me and Don Smith night when I was honored by the great
people of Ames on that one that was March I got it right here
March 4th 1968 he took those picture he pictures he passed away in 2003 2003 and
at the time he had worked for Governor Nelson Rockefeller as his personal
photographer and also he was on Al Sharpton’s president for presidential
campaign when he passed away that’s my dad
one thing bothered me about my dad and it was his obsequious Ness I used to
think that he was Uncle Tom because he used to smile and pretty much do you
know a tap-dance but keep in mind that’s what he had to do back in the 50s to
survive to support his family so when it comes to politics I don’t
like politics because I used to see the way my dad you
to operate and I don’t like it so because of what I had seen Paulette you
know political so anything that has to do with politics I run away matter of
fact last month I was invited to a black caucus and I really didn’t want to go
because they said caucus but a caucus I guess it just means gathering it has
really no political you know means gathering but I thought it meant
politics I didn’t want to go I did end up going on but then they explained it
was a library meeting they called it the black caucus of librarians my mother see
work doesn’t operate a telephone operator but my mother was an alcoholic
and my mother and dad never spoke one day of my life when I say never spoke I
mean not one word because of the person I was put on it by child support he was
forced to call me that maybe monthly and take me out somewhere – what’s the
Dodgers playing attention to a knick game so when he called if he got my
mother he would hang up if you got my sister you would say hey my name is
Pucci say hey I want to take Pucci out I want to take him to a Knick game but if
he got my mother he wouldn’t hang up so that’s what I was
watching all those years that my mom and dad being away from each excuse me being
away from each other so that was a little bit about my childhood the other
thing that we have to appreciate outside of you know just being you know our
creator we have to our country I have this thing when I go to other countries
I don’t want to be a Ugly American so what I try to do I try to conduct myself
in a proper proper way because sometimes in all the countries that I’ve seen like
I don’t want to mention the concerts but they really they really have a hard time
with Americans because they tell me Americans are kind of arrogant Americans
are kind of selfish Americans like this and that so when I used to go to other
countries is it was a way I conducted I try to conduct myself in a reasonable a
good even like tipping like you go to some
European countries if you give them a big tip they don’t like that because
that’s like arrogance like you eat like it you go to Germany and you know this
like 25 francs for meal or something you you leave 50 francs they don’t like that
so if you’re tipping and Europeans you know just give them a little bit it’s
like to thank you very much this is a token it’s not like overdoing it so
that’s what I try to do outside of believing in my god I try to represent
my country this is very important oh I was picked for the US Olympic team 1968
did I go I did not why I didn’t though a lot of pressure was put on me from the
black society in those days in the 60s we have movements going on and I don’t
think I was strong enough to say yeah I wanted to go represent my country so I
ended up not going a thing I look back as you know I I kind of look back at at
that as a mistake where other people are doing like Spencer Haywood he was able
to take the racial part of it away and see two things basketball and here’s
this and hey this is basketball it has nothing to do with anything else so at
the time I was not able to do that because all the other peer pressure that
was going on in this university at that time also as human beings all of us come
from different races and tribes and nationality so we have to conduct
ourselves in a proper manner when I go back to into some of the black
communities I hit an N word being used it makes me shiver young kids using it
the N word the N word the N word all the time and it really makes me shiver I had
one guy come up to me one day and I got really angry he called me a dog hey dog
what’s up and not you know and I was I was about to say you know something kid
Oh young man I’m I’m old enough to be your father don’t call me a dog but
those are some of the things we have to deal with in a society some sometimes
the way the youth they look at people who have gotten older and what I try to
do I try to represent myself in a good manner at all times when I go
out I have to have two I’m a product of all those things that just mentioned and
also I’m a product of a product of Iowa State University
I wouldn’t wanted to do anything bad to to be negative against Iowa State
University because that’s my alumni I’m an alumnus of that University so I have
to conduct myself in a good manner because people people you know they’re
looking where did you graduate at Iowa State University now if I would act like
I’m crazy you know do something mean then people will say you know what kind
of people that what what type of people come out of Iowa State University my god
this guy can’t even read can’t even read so it’s very important the way we
conduct ourselves and also athletically my Jersey is retired in this university
so that means the people that worked before me Waldo Wepner the first
all-american Gary Thompson myself Jeff hornacek Jeff Gray uh Fred Hoiberg what
would happen if I let them down by doing something stupid about doing something
bad and bring it bring it disgrace to this university also
the National Basketball Association I played 10 years in the league
what would happen if I brought disgrace to the NBA I wouldn’t want to do that oh
I’ve seen it like you I’ve seen the brawl and in
Detroit that night it was horrible I watched it for two minutes I haven’t
seen it I haven’t seen it in its entirety my daughter called me I said
dad used to see this fight that’s on TV I turned it on I saw these guys were not
running up into the stands pounding people and people fighting Jerry West didn’t do that I’ve never
seen Jerry West went up into the stands I met I never seen Oscar Robinson run up
into the stands call Malone run up into the stands
attacking people I’ve never seen it in my life and to be honest with each and
every one of you if it was disgraceful so those are some of the things that I
always keep abreast though I always keep in mind how I’m conducting myself religiously as far as God is concerned
family nationality race all these things are very important to me Iowa State NBA
all these things how did I get here how did I how was that able to get to Iowa
State University did I did I think I ever would become an NBA player never
did I think I would become a two-time all-american no did I think I would
become one of the greatest NBA players of all time never I was just a kid who
liked to play basketball play that every day in the streets of New York
but again God gave me a gift how did I get here
well I played at the Bedford YMCA that’s where Lenny Wilkens came from and Connie
Hawkins and those great players and one day my coach who was a police officer
who knew my dad he he knew that I have some exceptional abilities so he set me
up to play again saw a guy who went to school here by the name of Hank with me
so what happened I was supposed to meet Hank Whitney I
think it was on a Friday night and I got there early I was really really nervous
that I was good I was going up against this big 8 player so we played and after
we played I didn’t have the confidence that I really really played that well
because I could never see my gift I could never see my gift so I looked down
and I saw gene my coach and and they would think that they had smiles on
their faces and they came over to me heck when he put out his hand and said
I’ve never met anybody who could jump higher than me he said I’ll call Iowa
State to see if we could get your scholarship to go to school about three
weeks later I got a letter from Iowa State that I’d like you to come down
that’s how I got into this great University what would have happened if
Hank Whitney was not a mentor to me I wouldn’t have been here so that’s why I
have to be a mentor to other people and I’ll come back to that later about
mentoring this is Hank Whitney and that’s one of the reasons I’m in
this University he took the time Friday night to come out and play against the
kid who was 16 yellow kid play against me and call up the University and give
me well when I got here boy was that kind of confused got on the plane for
the first time I was scared to death a plane taking off to a 500 miles an hour
scared me to death Nana did Chicago landing it too in Des
Moines looked around it was quite different than where I came from most of
the people I knew was black looked around nothing with white people I said
oh god what’s what happened what’s gonna happen to you it would be very in our
knowledge as to know some of you go in the Harlem as a natural consequence
you’re out of your element so how do you deal when you’re out of your element
mm-hmm I think what all of us would be out out of our element sometimes and to
make it a better world so I call I go to dirt beer cheer hole over here and I’m
in the office and I meet a woman that treated me like her son her name was
Dorothy Erskine there’s a picture Dorothea she’s at my
father’s he’s on the back page his Dorothy and she worked in a Registrar’s
Office there she she used to tell me things like Donald take two hard courses
and take two easy courses if you do that you’ll graduate on time I took mrs.
Erskine’s advice so what I did I took excuse me I took two hard courses two
easy courses too hard courses two easy courses why did I do that because the
athletes at that time in the beginning they took all easy courses so by the
time they became juniors and seniors they had hard courses to take so what
happened they would flunk out so mrs. Erskine was set up my schedule
for me and she said do this do that do this do that see what she was check up
for me make sure I was going to class if I didn’t go to class you say Don
we heard you weren’t in class today so I didn’t when than that mrs. Erskine down
so I pretty much graduate on on time English was tough for me because back in
the back in New York the educational system is not like an Iowa systems quite
different I knew what a verb was this action word one of hers but I didn’t
know how to apply that it into a structured text so my first year of
English a flunked which I’ve talked about in my book but I bounced back and
I took it I took analyst 101 over again I took inst 102 103 then I took speech
and I took journalism and I passed I wasn’t the greatest student because I
was learning to learn so I had to relearn everything again so those skills
when I began writing my book talks is the sunlight those skills was still
innately in me the education I got from one of English 104 Maya was State
University was still in me the structure the way to set you know the rep how you
write a theme and so on a soul for that was still in me so it wasn’t mad at me
just getting it out and I worked very hard I wrote every word in my book of
course I had a great editor mrs. miss Nell the dance had a great graphic
designer a woman by the name of me a Butterworth but abroad what I’m asking
what I’m asked the most about is dauntless the Sun Knight what does it
mean and in my book there’s many darkness to sunlight as a 17 year old
kid coming to Iowa State getting on that plane
coming from the black community of white community darkness the Sun man when I
was a kid I made a bad choice I went out with some bad guys so I got arrested I
was facing three felonies if I would have got it convicted of those felonies
I’m just beginning out at a prison right about 9:00 because right about now
because those felonies were like 15 years of peace 45 years I was just
beginning out well you know with good behavior may be able to get out maybe
five years ago but I got out darkness to sunlight my mom and dad dead darkness I
have five kids six kids darkness the sunlight and so on and so forth so when
I when I tell people about the offices all night it’s up to the reader to look
in the book and see what the doctor says Sun lights might be there’s many of them
and sometimes I sometimes one of the readers will tell me hey there’s another
one I learned another one that I didn’t see before joining up during those times
when I got to Iowa State amount of things were going on our president got
his head blown off John Kennedy and then Oswald got killed that almost the next
day we were living in some very turbulent times there were protests
there were dogs eating P by ting people the Vietnam War a lot of a lot of stuff
was happening so how was one to deal with all of that
we were we were in a rollercoaster type scenario in this country John Kennedy
was murdered dr. King was murdered at Malcolm s was murdered I was a young kid
18 or 19 years old at the time at this university playing professional I mean
playing collegiate basketball and I like anybody else I was susceptible to the
times that we were living in which I was being what things were whispered to me
that sometimes I believed and at times like I didn’t know if those
things were true or not almost like a paranoia I might be walking through
campus gone all these white people here and I’m gonna only brother around here
does that person like me or does that person might be why didn’t that person
smile at me like that and that would be that would be true of anybody going to
any other place but there was always Dorothy earthscan I could go over and
have to have some food with so he make me meals meat loaf and liver and all
sorts of great foods and and that kept me that kept me kind of balanced where I
didn’t go off either way some people asked me about both of the careers the
NBA career and the collegiate career which that I liked the best
and I always tell them was my collegiate career sometimes I have to pinch myself
that I got through my collegiate career because when I played I found out late I
found out later teams like Kansas and Oklahoma and Nebraska they would set up
special defenses to stop me but it never worked
I have as close to 25 points the game closed when you have my average did come
down my sophomore yet because I had mononucleosis a bizarre just 19 points
over 19 18 points a game but the next two seasons the average twenty four
point eight and twenty four point two just so I have was about 24 points a
game and I have it’s just about thirteen point five rebounds when I cut my career
but it wasn’t difficult for me and I found out later what it really makes me
nervous I I just found out and been doing the research before my book that
Kansas and Oklahoma they used to set up special defenses and stop me but it
never worked but I never lost any teeth with an elbow I don’t remember ever
getting hit by anybody but people and it was a article written about me by Frank
Wright Tribune and aims daily saying that you
know I was being abused on the corplan you know other teams and if I felt
anything how can I explain that I explained it in the in the chapter of my
book called prodigy and that’s what I was I don’t know too much about
basketball so you can you can maybe say I was like a girl like a four year old
girl that plays the piano if you totally hit it flat you’re saying what are you
talking about what’s the efnet she just has natural
abilities well if you asked a great chess champion Bobby Fischer was a
grandmaster at a young age why did you move your bishop there why don’t you do
that he’ll just say I don’t know I just did it okay look that’s the that’s that
that’s where it’s sort of gone and that’s what I was I was a prodigy I’m
not too crazy about sports my son to tell you that football I’m not too crazy
about it you know soccer I don’t absolutely no
absolutely not nothing about it I do like martial arts you know I’ve taken
kung fu and karate and I like Tai Chi I take Tai Chi but as far as that’s
concerned I’m not a sports person and NBA players I grew up on the NBA players
that I’ve played with they used to laugh at me about that same you never go out
you don’t go to parties you don’t have at the time because I was a typographic
I don’t know I don’t want what a woman I will give up my divided attention I
won’t be people didn’t make sense to me and I used to tease me about that my
response was always to them if you had to go and Wilt Chamberlain you wouldn’t
go out with anybody yourself you got to go out we’ll and I knew that I knew my
advantage was this I went to the hotel room after the game I didn’t allow went
to sleep a club had a good meal went to sleep I said to myself if wilt is out
having a party he’s gonna have a problem because he’s gonna have to play me
because that’s 6-9 here’s well you know Here I am so I needed the event as I can
get and I did the same with I used to take that that way with Kareem
abdul-jabbar or Bob Lanier and these big centers I had problems with the smallest
son is like McAdoo and Karen’s I had problems with day because we played the
same type of game game album Adams so you know you know outside not not you
know not back to the basket I wasn’t that type of sent I was this type of
setup you know so uh but I always thought that would that would be my
advantage if they slipped up if Kareem was out having parties and whatever and
if Mac are doing any of them they would have to see me because I’m gonna get my
sleep I owe it to myself I owe it to the people are coming to see me play I owe
it to them so have to be professional I’m only saying that I I’m not one to
brag but I’m very proud of the fact that in an MBA I was never late to a practice
I never missed a game and with the Cyclones as a cyclone and
never missed a game and never missed a practice looking back now I want to
pinch myself because that’s kind of surreal I don’t know how it happened it
happened some of the greatest things that happened to me as a cyclone the
greatest thing was my sophomore year I think we were playing Ohio State and
when they introduced my name it says starting at Senate number 35 Don Smith
the armory was had about 70,000 people they got up and the people clapped and
they clapped and they clapped I was 18 years old 19 years old I was shy and I
was scared and they clapped and they clapped then when I came out of the game
they clapped and they clap and they clapped I got that most of my career
whenever my name would be mentioned in this University which was fantastic to
me because I mean what can I say and also having John wouldn’t say that I
probably was the greatest played as he’s ever seen in a collegiate no test John
Wooden the greatest player the greatest coach
that ever coach also Seattle I live in Seattle now
that’s my home I ended up the it’s a nice City it rains a lot but it’s nice I
raised my family there and if you like seafood it’s good place to be which I
love and not of fresh air not oxygen not a tree’s mountry there from the big
mountains to West very nice place Vancouver Canada about two and a half
hours to the north I love it there I raised my family there as I said and
that’s where I began reading the book some people ask well how did you how do
you why did you write the book first thing I want to tell you I had to write
it so that’s the only way I can explain it I don’t know how I wrote it myself I
just remember on those cold Iowa Blizzard days when I had to go to
English 101 I’m in the bed in the dorms Riley Hall all aware have helped Elsie
palsy or I can’t remember anyway I used to be in the bed going I open up the
blinds and said I’m not going out there today hmm
go back to bed and something something will perk at me and said hey you better
go too you better go to class thought you know I would say I would fight it
and say you know I don’t want to go today you know why I went I do like this
book but I didn’t realize it at the time I had to write the book so I had to get
some skills I never knew it I flunked my first English 101 how to teach about it
in as mr. Rogel he flipped me and it was hard
I’m coming from New York and he has the the theme the theme book and I had the
infamous theme book in my my my in the book all you know this one just to see that will push shivers down
your spine so mr. Bogle comes he goes okay here’s
your theme today Moby Dick Oedipus Rex what do I know about that I flunked in
English 101 so I had to learn again how to do it so I learned how to write a
theme yeah you know you you know you you know you put the outline down and then
the next year I went back and I passed it I got to see it I was happy to get to
see cuz I’m coming from Brooklyn thinking I’m educated I’m not educated
because it to me that was a different system here everybody knew what a theme
was here since maybe grade school I’ve never seen that a theme book I’ve never
seen that thing before so I had to relearn again so those are some those
are some of the things areas that my childhood my adolescence my Iowa State
and my MBA and now like that I did the book some people say I have a good
memory because I was able to write a book my god when you have a very messed
up childhood you don’t forget what some people say no no no you have a good
memory because I wouldn’t remembered that I had to remember that because I
lived every every second of it being an MBA was something I never planned to do
it just happened and I’m so grateful to to my creator for
give me many ability to be able to write this book it took me three and a half
years to write this book and it was very difficult the editing was the most
difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life because I would write like 2,000
words the next day the elder the editor will come in and say you know that’s
that’s no good and she would rip it up
I just spent like three hours writing something or a day writing something so
you have to rip it up she said you have to rip it up I had some things in my
book that were very controversial and she said they I wouldn’t I would put
that in my book if I was you I didn’t understand what she meant but pretty
controversial things a book it can take away the book itself because somebody
would be in the back of the room challenging me and say excuse me uh
that’s that’s very bad what you’ve done I’m not afraid to put something
controversy on my book but I’m getting a little too old for that you know one of
the things that what kind of controversy I didn’t know it was this thing called
secondhand smoke I was going to put something about secondhand smoke out how
it’s a stupid idea what I wanted to say was that when I was
growing up there was no such thing as legislation about the nearness of
somebody said this guy is smoking and I could see evidence although I have to be
so many feet away from this guy you know I thought you get cited to give me a
ticket since you’re smoking and within that
person’s perimeter you know the nearness of that person I found that to be odd
because back back in the day you know back in the sixties or when I was a kid
you know even though I did smoke when I was young but it just made sense to me
if that person was smoking I wouldn’t actually get away from him so I wouldn’t
need a legislation to you know so everything into such societies becoming
legislator you know you can’t do anything around some type of rule and I
really don’t like that I like the simple things you know you know this is a way
to work it out among us are you as Yuman beings we don’t have to legislate this
and then I think it’s really fragmenting our society by legislation but she told
me you have to keep that out of your book so I did who knows I might put it
in the next edition maybe I don’t know but anyway uh that’s been my life my
childhood and I can go into more and more and more and more so what I’m gonna
do now is I spoke for about 40 minutes and this going to take some questions I
asked questions and I hope I can ask anybody okay but my greatest experience as a
playwright ah I would say but when I got 27 rebounds in a game that was more than
I had gotten as a collegiate athlete I got 24 as the cyclone I don’t think
that’s the record anymore no but I got 24 as a cyclone but I got 27 in the
mb-827 rebounds in the game I got I think it was 19 defensive rebounds and
eight offensive rebounds in a game I think we all those against the Phoenix
Suns that was a probability because I like to I like to rebound you know yes the ball change and it’s more yes as a bitch yeah it is a big change I
think to athlete today is much more much more skill than we were but they
couldn’t beat us because we played teamwork keep in mind that if you look
at if you look at an NBA game today I would say this game was like 87 81
that’s the probably the address that’s what the three-point shot that’s not
very many 87 81 right you know why that is because
one guy gets the born he’s dripping all over the place you know everybody and
the other four players are just watch together like that huh
back in my day average game was like 125 million 119 and we played defense so
what that means is that 125 to 119 passing the ball moving movement so
that’s how we would be to playing today we would pick them apart because the
play today they don’t want to play defense where we play defense back in my
era and that’s right and I see a lot of palming firstly you know yeah it’s a lot
of palming and yeah I don’t know I don’t understand how a lot of players get away
with that but I get I guess I guess the referees you know are judging from a
different standard when I was you know when I was playing I just and keep in
mind I went to one game about two years ago Seattle SuperSonics it gives the
Golden State Warriors I walked out it was really really boring it was really
boring I walked out of the game because it it was a dunk or three a dunk but was
no there was no game it’s a dunk everyone wants to don’t that’s it
basketball was much more than donkey yes are you so if you want to come up
this is one of my sons here my son was an all-american at SPU he went to visit
to school this guy should be in the pros right now but politics has maybe
restricting him I called up the Golden State Warriors and I said you know we’re
interested in your son but we had 12 no cut contracts so he’s a victim of not
getting in because of the politics of unique which I don’t like where you know
people get no cut contracts that nobody else is allowed to get India or beat
them out and then I have a thank you I have my I got my daughter Miriam she
she’s just she had a baby last yes I have a granddaughter that’s one years
old gentleman my grandson he’s six years old and then I have a stepdaughter named
Atia didn’t have a son that he teaches English in Kuwait he’s been over there
he’s doing pretty good cause it’s tax-free and also have Sarah then I have
a bit over and I have a little girl a little is a she looks just like me she’s
five the name is Nora and so I have a big family I mean I was blessed with a
big family you know and a pretty good family you know we’ve had a few problems
and when I get a family as far as you know kids are consuming but it’s gonna
be okay another question yes yeah yes
yeah what I did because of what I told you about drugs and alcohol and remember
I told you I’m going to come back to something or am I telling you that
and I’m going to come back to this about six or seven years ago but Charles
Barkley said and I’ll quote him you know I am NOT a role model I don’t know what
he was talking about because just the fact that your MBA walked but you should
be a role model and I’ve up to a knee a little bit because III I went to a book
reading about two months ago it was or three months ago and I asked some kids
to come up and they got a basketball like this one kids called in the
basketball yeah one kids I have holding a basketball
there so I told the kid I said off if you don’t become a basketball player
what are you gonna be comedy said I don’t know that’s a problem so he’s
putting his all his eggs in one basket every easily become a NBA basketball
player of course he might not you know why take a hundred percent take a
hundred percent take one percent out of a hundred
cut it up with 230 pieces lines 30 30 lines to become an NBA player one
thirtieth of a percent the school makes it it might be easier to become an
astronaut but you can’t tell the kids that so Charles Barkley’s statement I am
NOT a role model I want to tell you I am a role model because these kids they
need help it’s a complicated what’s going on my God we’re in a war right now
everything is topsy-turvy a lot of things are happening people are confused
and I want to say I am a role model question yes no we wanted yeah no I got an email from
bill canis without last week he said you know I love you they have a good I’d say
everybody tell everybody hello a name so bill Cain has to I almost forgot I’m
glad you’re talking about Bill cage Senate hello to everybody it is in
France and I it’s like anything else sometimes we promise things we’re going
to see each other but just to just life itself pushes us in other directions I
would ideally I would want to keep in touch when I came back in 2004 we had a
guard on that on our team named john McGonagall and john he didn’t live up to
his aspirations he broke his leg that season and we were supposed to keep in
touch but we have it every once every couple of months I called up Tom Goodman
and we laugh and joke and Tom good minute so he’s probably the closest to
me I call him a lot and we laugh when we drunk and we reminisce you know who else
oh that’s about it but you know just just as you know an answer to your
question you know nice life pushes us in different directions and we would like
to do that but sometimes time and you know schedules and things it doesn’t it
doesn’t permit it a couple more questions yeah I think there was a Tom yeah I
remember kind of a blonde here yeah it was a blonde no I don’t really know I
don’t think I remember him no I don’t think ever no I don’t think questions some people say ask me well when answers
when I raise this question you’ll probably see oh I said aunt that’s gonna
ask that who was the toughest I have a plan against okay I think probably was
Kareem cuz Kareem was so tall and you know he’s like this and he’s dead he’s
got the sky what are you gonna do and what but what I try to do I try I try
that just may maybe make him work harder on the defensive end to get him tired
that’s all you can do and you can get help from the weak side you know image
we kind of put a zone around the basket where you can’t get too close to the
basket excuse me that’s what you can pray to do you know and he probably was
my toughest play I’d ever had to play against of course well and oh I tell you
built build walk was incredible but what was hurt most of the time so you know
when I played against meat you know he was hurt sometimes he he had bad knees
and I saw him in Las Vegas I went to the all-star game last week I didn’t go to
the game but I went to the festivities and I saw Bill Walton this or you know
Moses Malone and Rick Perry and you know Calvin Murphy and out of the great
players that we’ve all heard about any more questions yes how did I end up becoming Muslim I write
about it in my book one day I grew up as a Catholic and one day I was in
Milwaukee and I was wearing a cross around my neck we were playing playing
we had to practice at a cross on and Kareem came up to me he said well what’s
that around your neck so I kind of said what and I looked down and I saw the
cross then I realized that I was wearing a Horniman and I didn’t know why I was
wearing ornament I was wearing it as a fashion law that’s something that other
people did so I said to myself right at that split second I said I’m gonna study
I’m gonna try to find out why I’m wearing this so I went to the I went to
a Milwaukee Public Library and I got a got a Bible I got a Quran and I got a
Gaeta bhagavad-gita and I start studying and reading it and I made a decision to
to become a Muslim from that from that experience looks like you did pretty
much like easy questions I love questions so please ask me this
is my favorite part of I don’t like to speak to myself it’s going into I got
five more minutes yes okay oh I went went to a tea called the
Cincinnati Royals I miss one thing I said the toughest play of playing
against but who do you think is the greatest who do you think I think the
greatest play is Oscar Robinson Oscar to me was the greatest basketball player to
ever lived and if you ask Jordan Jordan might tell you the same thing and I was
privileged and I’ll end with this very very funny story I had two funny stories
for you and then I’ll end it first story I’m with the Seattle SuperSonics we’re
playing the Lakers so we had no los angeles the Lakers are I think that was
the season had their 33 game winning streak they had well Gail Goodrich Jerry
West Elgin Baylor and the late happy Harrison so we’re playing against them
and at halftime I got 24 points against will now back in those days you know we
had a jump ball in every quarter first quarter second quarter third quarter
fourth quarter today we just have at the beginning of the game and we also have
an alternative possession the second half so and he’s that so the second half
I go out to jump against will and I put out my hand I go and he takes my hand he
goes and he uses profanity one letter begins with a F M and all that says the
F so and he pushes my hand away since M fu school a 24-point so for me I guess
he got chewed out so I guess how many points I ended up with 24 two story
it’s real story and I’m trying to think the other story I’m trying to think of
another what was I going to say the other thing Oh Oscar why I think Oscar
is the greatest of them all because Oscar was a human computer not too many
people know that I would say ok Oscar how many fouls do I have he would say
say you got three in his head and all the people on the team in the opposition
you know all those guys and then he knew how much time was on the 24-second clock
at all times the game clock at all times I don’t know I don’t know if Michael
could do that but Oscar was a human computer and on April 19th is there’s a
movie coming out called the big Oh April 19th about the life of Oscar obviously
and finally this is kind of funny too doing my book I was trying to think who
would do a forward for me and I thought of all great players I thought of people
like Jerry whereas I said no I don’t know Jerry that will build you know Bill
Bradley is a trip to a friend of mine a very very caring guy very good guy
Senator Bill grubby I said what about Korea me a Korean were never that close
I said Oscar Oscar so I got his number and I so I was very nervous I was afraid
to say no I say Oscar this is a oh yeah you remember me huh yeah I’m Zayd Don
Smith yeah okay yeah Oscar yeah I play that Iowa State
yeah oh you know who I yeah yeah Oscar you know we want Cincinnati together
yeah yeah yeah number 35 yeah for Iowa State
yeah cyclones yeah yeah six nine yeah 240 pounds yeah yeah big eight yeah I
played in it yeah you know who I am okay I’m sorry oh yeah Oscar yeah okay
yeah Oscar yeah I’m from Brooklyn Brooklyn New York yet New York I’m from
Brooklyn New York yeah yeah you remember me I played for
Cincinnati Rose I was a number one pick back in 68 yeah are you busy
what do I want well Oscar and then it was open like two years I was so nervous
I said ask I just wrote a book can you do it
forward for me guess what he said he said say I would be honored
can you imagine can you imagine okay I played 10 years in the NBA but I really
had ever thought I was that good I never had a big head about it
but Oscar doing a forward for me can’t tell you what that means and forward by
the legendary Oscar Robinson just to think Oscar thought I was some a good
player that’s enough for me that’s enough for me so you know I thank you
yes no he’s way ahead of me I’m away ahead of him no way before he won she
said I would have liked to that would have been interesting I played against
dr. J doe Julius Erving so any more questions out
is that it okay we’re right on time it’s 8 o’clock I think it is and you know
it’s an honor to be here I will state and you know I’ll be happy to talk to
any of you about anything and thank you so much thank you yeah yeah

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