So, the English student in me loves this, the teacher in me loves this, and the sports fan in me loves this.
This poem–entitled “Can’t Hold Me Down”–was written by former NBA lottery pick, Rashad McCants. He gave the poem to a Minnesota youth centre to inspire the youth to believe in themselves–and come out of their shells–despite the “unbelievable doubt on the other side”. It’s a very impressive poem with incredible use of imagery and allusion (sorry, the English student just came out).
He was a collegiate star, making the All-ACC First Team in 2004 (a big deal) and helping the University of North Carolina Tar Heels win the National Championship in in 2005 (a very big deal). Coming out of college, though, he was considered a bit of a “head case” by scouts and NBA teams. He has a fiery passion coupled with incredible athleticism and mad skills (MC skillz included). So, being continuously looked down upon, and a bit of a rapper, it is of no surprise that he was capable of writing a poem that exudes the same passion with which he plays the game.
Unfortunately, his career was derailed by nagging injuries, and he has spent the last couple years playing in Puerto Rico, China, and the NBDL (the minor league for the NBA). Here’s seven and a half minutes of him destroying inferior competition in China, if you’re interested.
But from what I can take away from Rashad’s journey and words, is that if you’re going to have passion, make sure it’s fiery.
Post Script: Hat tip to Deadspin for the story.
Post Post Script: Here’s a mixtape of Rashad’s college exploits. Notice the fiery passion.