1996: Kentucky wins the NCAA National Championship against Utah. I was nervously pacing my basement as the final clock tick-tocked down. I spent a everyday after school waiting in line for my personalized autographed photograph of each player on the team. They are still neatly displayed in my childhood room. Each one matted and framed in silver. One day we will have a sports room with all of the UK memorabilia from my lifetime.
Perhaps my favorite player of all time is Derek Anderson. His demeanor on the court was of sheer determination. His story was/is one of great courage and dedication. I was only 13 in 1996, but I knew that he was someone special. Not just for his basketball skills but for the man he had become at such a young age.
Fast forward to present day and you will find that Derek Anderson is even better off the court. My family has had the pleasure of working with him in regards to charity events & his book, Stamina, as he begins to tour the country speaking & signing autographs. He is prompt in returning calls and emails. He is professional and shy. He is gracious and thankful for his life. He has tremendous faith in the Lord.
I was stoked to get my autographed copy of Stamina a few weeks ago. I set out reading it at every chance I could...usually staying up late at night to read his story. I cried several times. I laughed at his realism. I remembered his memories as a Wildcat because he shared them with the Big Blue Nation.
Stamina is the brutally honest story of a young boy who endured all the trials that one person can all while keeping his faith and striving for a better life. In his book, Derek tells his story with painful details, real life examples, and intense emotion. He is the definition of a man. He is the face of adversity. He is the hope of the projects. He is the sole reason why you should always believe that anything is possible.
I highly recommend picking up a copy. Your heart will forever be changed. #BBN4Ever