“I pride myself on attacking my fears and not being afraid of anything.”
That quote is from our interview with Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass. You might think he is talking about his mindset as he goes up against other NBA teams each night. Yet in this case he was referring to his fear of not knowing how to swim.
Believe it or not Brandon’s son was the first one in his family who was able to swim. Brandon knew that he had to learn as well. Bass wanted to make sure he could protect his family by learning how to swim. Now Brandon and his son can go into a pool and have fun in the water together.
Bass learned to swim with 10 children at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston. Bass grew up in Baton Rouge and had no real place to swim. So naturally he, his friends, his brother, and parents didn’t know how to swim. Sadly when he was a child, a neighbor his age drowned. That memory has stayed with him since that tragic event. So now that Bass is a father he wanted to protect his children every which way. Learning to swim was one of the ways he could do that.
We applaud Brandon for his courage to let go of his fears and learn to swim. We were able to talk to Brandon about him learning how to swim, fatherhood, and playing in the NBA. For more fantastic stories like Brandon’s make sure you follow NBA Cares on Twitter.
Then we talk with Christian Laettner. Not only will Christian always be in the conversation of having one of the best moments in NCAA Final Four history, but he will be mentioned as one of the best to play the game at the collegiate level. Playing for legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, Christian was part of a team that was always in the hunt to win a championship.
Laettner led Duke to consecutive NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992. He is the All-time NCAA Tournament career scoring leader with 407 points. He won the Wooden, Kodak/NABC and Naismith Awards as the National Player of the Year in 1992.
Then his career at the pro level in the NBA got even better. He was a member of the 1992 U.S Men’s Olympic Basketball Team better known as the Dream Team. He helped Team USA win the gold medal in Barcelona. Next he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the third overall selection of 1992.
With all of the experience and passion for the game Christian opened up his own basketball academy called the Christian Laettner Basketball Academy. His academy looks to provide training and instruction to both male and female players ages 6 and up. Coach Laettner, and his CLBA certified staff of coaches provide individual, team, high school, AAU and college level sessions throughout the country and are available to travel to the comfort of your home gym. They focus on strength training, ball handling skills, guard play and shooting, post offense and defense, team concepts, one on one concepts, rebounding, fundamentals of offensive cutting, movement without the ball, and other high level basketball skills.
I had the great pleasure of talking with Christian about his basketball academy, his time at Duke and the NBA and fatherhood. I love hearing Christian’s take on fatherhood. It was neat to learn that he and his kids play music together and that he loves to take on every challenge that fatherhood brings him.