It's incredible to wonder how many kids wanted to do something growing up and their teachers, family, or the circumstances drove them away from pursuing their dreams.
We've seen this happen countless times. A kid dreams of being a professional athlete and their parents or people at school tell him to focus on something more realistic, just to watch him blossom into a wealthy and successful superstar years later.
That's what happened to Chicago Bulls' forward Zach LaVine, who was discouraged from becoming an NBA player in fourth grade before his father Paul motivated him to pursue his dream:
“I always told him to chase his dreams. That’s what he did. I remember one time they had one of those career days in school and a teacher in fourth grade asked what he wanted to be. He said he wanted to be an NBA star. The teacher told him to write down something more realistic. He came home and said, ‘The teacher wants me to be a policeman or fireman.’ Me and my wife went to school and said that was my son’s dream, so don’t mess it up; that’s what he wants to be," Paul LaVine told NBA.com.
Zach's father continued his story by lauding his son's determination to improve and make it to the NBA, stating that he didn't need to tell him to work out because he'd always do it on his own:
"He wanted to do it. I never had to tell him you have to go out and shoot; he just wanted to. I was worried about the Marinovich example (a parent pushing a child to exhaustion and defeat). I was kind of hard on Zach. I had a talk with my wife about it. I did let him know when he did something wrong and sometimes in a harsh way," Paul LaVine concluded.
At the end of the day, LaVine fulfilled his dream and in a big way. He's fresh off making $19.5 million last year alone while averaging 25.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game as the leading scorer of the Chicago Bulls.
LaVine is already considered one of the greatest dunkers of all time and is just scratching the surface of his potential, and his story should be enough to motivate more young hoopers out there dreaming of making it to the most competitive basketball league in the world.