Hot off the press! The sports wire reports that Zaire Wade, son of NBA great Dwyane Wade, plans to skip college and go pro. Word is he’ll set up shop with the G-league team of the Utah Jazz. That’s a major decision and gutsy move by the youngster. Gonna miss-out on having some college play under his belt.
He grew up in a household where winning is par for the course. He’s had a front row seat in watching his father win NBA Championships. So yea, he’s got a leg up on his peers. That’s not always the case for career Joes or sports pros in basketball or other leagues. Not always much of a legacy to follow.
It might be one reason why Bubba Wallace is getting so much attention. He’s the first Black driver to win the Nascar Cup in motor racing since 1957. The last time that happened, the black driver wasn’t even recognized in front of the fans. His trophy ceremony was done reluctantly after the stadium emptied out.
To get a sense for what this feat means outside of racing, think about Dak Prescott coming back from major injury last season. It was a lonely road to recovery, but he put in the rehab time to be back on his grind. There’s a lot that goes into winning in sports or life beyond just the physical demands.
That one thing career Joes and sports pros have in common is mental toughness. Wallace dealt with blowback from calling out the confederate flag at Nascar events. Prescott had to believe he’d make it back from a potentially career-ending injury. You see this in how they handled two sides of a coin around:
- Pressure (Side A)
When you know something hasn’t been done before or happened a long time ago, that’s a kinda pressure where lot’s riding on your shoulders. When you find a noose in your team garage after you put a spotlight on social justice issues, that’s a kinda pressure to take you off your game. But still, that didn’t stop him.
- Pain (Side B)
The image of seeing Prescott’s injury on the gridiron was hard to un-see. There was his foot pointing one way and his leg another. The physical pain must have been off the charts. But pain isn’t only tied to what you feel in the flesh, but also what you might feel in having to defy the odds to be back on your feet.
- Pathfinder (Side A)
In the work world it can be tricky to make a name for yourself. There’s the idea of being a team player but at the same time being a go-getter. Balancing the two means being a pathfinder in carving out a lane for yourself or niche for your skillset, without diminishing what others are doing for themselves.
- Pioneer (Side B)
When it’s all said and done, many will look back and see Wallace as a pioneer. These are individuals who make such an impact in their field or the marketplace, that there’s a rush of candidates that follow in their footsteps. Many in the motorsport game see that as a potential silver lining in what Wallace achieved.
The NBA pre-season is almost done. Wade Sr is now part owner of a team. Kyrie Irving seems bent on giving up his dream. And young Wade is setting his sights and going full steam. All that to say, he might have crossover dribble in his genes, but it’s mental toughness that makes you a winner in the game.
Tip: With mental toughness in career and the game, you can get past those make-or-break moments to secure the bag.
Talkback: Is Zaire Wade taking a risk to skip college and go pro?
Tracks: Koffee – Pressure Remix Ft Buju Banton – https://youtu.be/JLcdjysXPgs
Chloe X Halle – Do It – https://youtu.be/a9HIaGcBocc