I was listening to an interview on the Jim Rome Radio Show on Monday when he was interviewing Fairleigh Dickinson Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Greg Herenda.
During the interview, Rome commented on Herenda’s career path and good fortune. Rome stated, “sometimes it doesn’t break the right way for some people,” to which Herenda agreed that after a long struggle, he did catch some breaks.
Think about how many coaches and/or players would have or could have “made it” if they were just under the right system, had an agent promote them a little better, were professionally networked better or were under better coaching mentors?
It brings me to one of my former players, Troy Jackson Jr. Troy is currently playing for the Rochester RazorSharks of the PBL (Premier Basketball League – “The Triple ‘A’ League of Professional Basketball”). Troy is the reigning MVP of the league and has a tremendous professional career but I always felt that timing did not work out for him.
Considering he played at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for one season and then transferred and graduated from Alcorn State, it is amazing that he even played overseas and professionally in the United States for almost 10 years.
Troy was forced to take (and make — see this ridiculous highlight video) lots of bad shots at ASU due to his supporting cast. Nevertheless, the future Alcorn Hall of Famer’s ability shined through and he was fortunate enough to get some looks overseas.
Troy was overseas and playing well when the checks stopped coming…that is his team essentially went bankrupt. Bad luck, right?
After moving from league to league like countless others do, Troy showed out with the Vermont Frost Heaves (now defunct team owned by Sports Illustrated’s Alexander Wolff), going 9-10 from 3pt range, which landed him another overseas opportunity. Again, that experience was short lived due and Troy was once again sent searching for a team.
As PBL MVP in 2014-15, Troy could definitely have been playing in the D-League or making close to six-figures overseas. However, as Rome said, “sometimes it doesn’t break the right way for some people.”
So why not? I think there are tons of factors: College coaches with insufficient professional contacts (guilty as charged), former agents who did not really work for him, lackluster marketing my teams/leagues, coaches who have agendas and limit his minutes/production, overall bad timing and some poor choices by Troy himself with selecting his professional support staff.
So what? Others have been subject to this too…I agree. Countless others. Others most of us will never hear about.
The real difference is which athletes/coaches are willing to continue to work when the chips are down, dreams are unrealized and they have only themselves to count on? (Sounds like Daymond John’s “The Power of Broke”, doesn’t it?)
Troy’s RazorSharks (13-2) plays in Providence on Sunday vs. the Sky Chiefs (6-7) at 1pm. Come see him play and you will understand what I am saying.
No complaints. No sob story. Just witness a professional chasing a dream and being patient for it to “break the right way.” The Power of Broke is what has kept him going and what motivates him.
Come up and see it for yourself.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter at CoachDeSalvo