William Arthur Ward, the famous poet who had written 100 articles and have been published to different magazines including the Reader’s Digest, summarized a short description about a pessimist, optimist and a realist. The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
After getting a college scholarship to play in University of Memphis, Tarik Black knows his opportunity is short lived. Having been cut numerous times while in middle school and came so close in giving up basketball after being mocked by his peers. The realist in him took whatever opportunity Memphis gave him, and Black in just 3 years graduated with a degree in organizational leadership. On his junior season he was averaging 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds and the same time the highest grade-point average on the team. While every player is dreaming about playing in the NBA, Tarik is preparing his life after basketball. After graduating in Memphis, he transferred to Kansas and was eligible to play right away. He played 33 games with 15 starts and just averaged to about 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 13 minutes on that lone season. It wasn’t enough to get him drafted in the NBA but it was enough to get an invite for the summer league. He was averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in Orlando, and averaged 4.5 points and 5 rebounds in Las Vegas. The Houston Rockets gave him a partially guaranteed contract during training camp with the intent of sending him down to the D-league. The realist again turned that opportunity to impressed the former Houston coach Kevin McHale, and got a spot in the roster. With the Rockets waiving off Jeff Adrian who was an experienced veteran who had a guaranteed contract. Black wasn’t an extraordinary player, but he was holding the fort when Dwight Howard was injured at that time. He was receiving valuable minutes that kept the Rockets winning despite Howard’s absence.
But after playing relatively well. Tarik got released by the Rockets after 25 games. The Los Angeles Lakers offered him a contract and he frequented in the NBA D-league last season. And now Tarik is playing a vital role with the young Lakers. Funny how everyone thinks his career wouldn’t last this long. On how a player who was constantly cut from the team in middle school and the player who was already contemplating in ending his basketball dream at an early age. The undrafted player who was deemed to play in the D-league and now playing as an integral part of the Lakers amazing start this season.
The realist is rising above every expectations his whole life. It was no secret though…
Tarik Black grabbed every opportunity given to him, and just continued adjusting the sails.