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Journeys with the No Schedule Man

Nov 21, 2017

The question this week is … how are you going to respond when adversity strikes? What about what it strikes again after that? And again after that?

How many times are you willing to get back up?

I would have been 20 years old when today’s guest, Jerod Ward, was named the Naismith Player of the Year award in 1994. That means Jerod was ranked as the #1 high school basketball player in all of the United States.

That’s a big deal. And a lot of pressure.

I remember it. I followed US College Basketball pretty closely at that time, and I well remember when Jerod chose to attend the University of Michigan, a basketball power in that era. Jerod seemed destined, not just for college basketball stardom, but for a long NBA career as well.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Injuries derailed Jerod, time and time again. After multiple knee surgeries Jerod described himself as not only physically but also mentally broken down. He gives a vivid account of those days in our discussion.

Amazingly, he somehow persevered, and went on to play professionally for 14 years at the highest levels worldwide

Through it all, the adversities have taught Jerod to never give up. He now has gone on to motivate and educate people with his keystone philosophy of NBA: “Never Be Average.”

When Jerod talks about eating adversity, he means “EAT” as an acronym for Embrace, Act and Thrive.

In addition to his speaking, Jerod still stays close to the game he loves. He is a college basketball analyst with networks including ESPN.

Some of the key takeaways from this chat with Jerod include:

  1. The kids are watching - Please listen closely to what Jerod shares about his dad, and how what he learned carried over into his own journey. If you have kids of your own, please consider what they may be seeing and learning from you. In Jerod’s case, it sounds like he had a pretty exceptional teacher.

  2. “You’re not going to get it all at once” - Again, Jerod’s father played an important role in showing him that the way things unfold is a process. Whether it’s in achieving a goal or looking at the arch of our journey through life. But you’re not going to get it all at once. Nor should you.

  3. Life will take you where you’re supposed to go - Though Jerod suffered through near unbearable disappointment and physical and mental pain through the injuries that disrupted his path to the NBA, his path diverted him to one of experiencing different cultures internationally and uniquely shaping him to empower other people to overcome adversity in the manner that he does today. He also mentions how it was predicted early on, in his church, that he may well someday be doing something similar to what he’s doing now (“on a platform”) but he admits to, “Running from what he was told.” It’s interesting, how life works out.

This really is a remarkable story, and Jerod does such an incredible job to share it so openly and transparently. I know you’re going to enjoy it.

©2017 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises