The NOC recently posted an inspiring YouTube video entitled John Wall: Breakout Story, on the meteoric rise of John Wall from the “skinny kid from North Carolina” to the eventual number 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
The video takes place at the 2012 Reebok Breakout Challenge as John remembers his experience at the same camp in 2007. He talks about being a fairly unknown prospect and facing the likes of heralded recruits like Brandon Jennings, Isaiah Thomas, and Renardo Sidney.
John is an inspiration to the current group a campers, a symbol of: no matter where you come from, how much publicity you have received, you still have a chance to prove yourself on the court. They show him joking around with the campers and challenging them to pickup games. It’s a side of John that most fans don’t get a chance to see.
Another great moment in the video is watching the love fest between Wall and Calipari, aka my two John’s. These two guys think the world of each other and it’s quite moving to see.
Wall talked about his home visit with Coach Cal: “When he left, my mom said ‘I trust that man’. Coach Cal made me feel like I was at home.”
When it was his turn to gush, Coach Cal says, “I told him it’s not about you, it’s about us. You’re not leaving here by yourself. And he didn’t. He took four other players with him that year.”
As Wizards fans we’ve seen John as a struggling rookie and as a young man trying to find his way in the NBA. He wasn’t equipped with best or most mature team when he arrived in the NBA and a few of those bad habits rubbed off on him. Kobe Bryant would’ve been hard pressed to motivate the group that John inherited. The Wizards have added a strong veteran presence to their young roster, which should lighten the burden that John has to carry, not that he has once complained about being asked to carry the franchise on his back. He has been the consummate professional and given his work ethic, if I were a betting man I’d bet he comes into the season with a new and improved jump shot. This video gave a glimpse into John as a leader and motivator and Wizards fans should be excited and proud about this young man being the leader of the team and face of the franchise.
Link to video below