I’ve gotten the pleasure of doing a lot of fun things in my life, but yesterday was a first for me and I really, truly enjoyed the experience.
We held a book signing for my first book, “All You Can Be, Learning and Growing Through Sports,’’ at the Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando. The turnout of fans was tremendous and the love that they showed me was amazing!!! There were at least a thousand people there, and I had to have signed a couple of thousand books. (Some folks had five or 10 books!!!) All you kids out there get ready to read my book because I’m guessing that a lot of little guys and girls in Orlando are going to be getting D-12 books for Christmas.
I’ve always wanted to have a book, and what makes this one special is that it’s centered around kids and teaching them how to reach for their goals. My friend, John Denton, helped me with writing the book and he did a good job of taking my words and expressing how I felt. It turned out great and it’s something that I’m very proud of.
We wanted to make this book for elementary and middle school kids and show them that if they hold onto their dreams and work hard that anything is possible. My message throughout the book is that I am where I am now because of hard work. Nothing was ever really handed to me in life. The message that I want to get across to everybody is that if you want something out of life you have to go and get it. You have to push and keep fighting.
Growing up I wasn’t this tall or this strong and I wasn’t always the best at everything that I did. But I worked hard at my craft and became the best through a lot of blood, sweat and tears. That’s the approach that I still take with basketball and anything in life that I want to accomplish.
I have to say that some of the pictures in the book are a little suspect. I cringed when I saw a few of those pictures from my childhood. I looked so skinny back then. It’s hard to believe that I would grow up from those days to be 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds of muscle now.
I had never done a book signing before, so I guess I can scratch that off my bucket list now. I’ve done a CD signing and an autograph signing and a lot of stuff for the NBA, but this was a new one for me. It was just cool that so many people in Orlando were eager to read my life story in this book.
It felt so good to have so many fans come up to me and tell me that I’m their favorite player in the NBA. Hearing their stories, seeing their Magic jerseys and hats, it really made me proud. And of course a lot of them mentioned me staying in Orlando long term, and I appreciate that love. Next summer is a long time away, and I just want to live life now and enjoy every day that I have.
I’m humbled every day to think that I have fans here in Orlando and all over the world supporting me. I know that I have my city behind me and they have my back in everything that I’m all about. With all of the stuff that’s going on with the NBA and the lockout, it’s great to have the fans support and know that they are still with me as a person and not just a basketball player.
So I hope everybody out there gets a chance to check out the book and read my life story. I’m just 25 years old and I still have a lot of life to live, but I feel like I have a story to tell about how I have gotten to where I am now. I hope kids can learn from my story and use it to chase their dreams.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the book signing yesterday. Check out the book and let me know what you think!!!
Peace out!!!! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!