To be perfectly honest, I’m not much of a sports fan. The martial arts is as close as it gets for me, but I can still recognize greatness and admire the dedication that comes with succeeding in any sport.
One such individual who inspires that admiration is Brandon Roy.
|Brandon Roy autographing something for a youthful fan.
By Spc. Aaron Carpenter [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
In order to get into college, and qualify for college basketball, students must pass the SAT. This isn’t an easy test, and many people need to take it more than once to get a passing grade. Roy took it five times before he passed.
It was during this time that he was diagnosed with a learning disability. Once he was able to get the help he needed to understand the test, he was able to pass it and move on to college.
I can’t seem to find exactly what learning disability he has, but there was one source stating he has dyslexia. That could be the case, since it was the reading aspect of the test that was giving him problems.
It should also be noted that when he was a teenager, he worked at the local docks to help his family out financially. This was dirty, tiresome work, and he learned a great deal about the value of perseverance as well as differing perspectives.
Once in college, he followed his passion of playing basketball. Over the course of his career, he struggled with multiple knee surgeries to address injury and a degenerative condition. In 2011, he had actually retired, but reentered the world of the NBA again in 2012.
However, he’s still having knee problems, so his playing future is still somewhat uncertain.
What struck me, besides his enduring spirit and determination to succeed, was his commitment to helping future generations. His brother, Ed, also has a learning disability, but he was diagnosed too late to get the help he needed to succeed in school.
Because of his struggle and his brother’s experience, he started the Brandon Roy Foundation. This charity works towards providing children a better chance of being tested if they show signs of learning disability. It also encourages all kids to pursue a well rounded life through sports and academics.
The foundations offers tutoring to students from low income areas and teaches them how to figure out how they think. That first step is extremely valuable to a life of happiness and success.