In Andre's Words


August 25, 2014 letters Comments Off

Dear Brad,

What an incredible ride we had together. Could anyone have seen me through? Could anyone have held me together and helped me focus like you? Not even close. From the beginning, you had a deep impact on my hopes and dreams, not just as a player, but also as a person. I was young and impressionable, still growing up and finding my way. Your life became a blueprint of what I wanted for myself and what I came to believe was possible. You have an incredible wife and beautiful children, a loving warm home, and you seemed to enjoy traveling but still enjoy coming home even more. All of that inspired me to find the life that I hoped for. For years I would come up to your house, stay for a week in your cabin, and spy on you and your family. More than once I uttered a quiet prayer to have something so special. That prayer has been answered beyond my dreams.

Your leadership was always at work, teaching me to never settle. You were always so optimistic, so sure of what lies ahead, so confident in me. Regardless of my ebbs and flows on the court that day, you promised better days were coming, and I believed you. You taught me how to win from within and to think for myself. When those better days came, over and over again, I wondered more than once, where did you get that insight? How could you see so far into the future? I will always appreciate your ability to be so plugged in to my emotions, your ability to provide context, and your incredible attention to detail. More so, I appreciate how quickly you would jump to my side and stand shoulder to shoulder when I felt ready to tackle the next challenge.

For a while, I got to live a dream on the court. For a lifetime, I’m getting to live a dream off the court. Brad, none of it would have been possible without you.