THE RISE OF AN ATHLETE
"From a young age I was very active in sports. My father had me playing every sport possible. I played baseball, basketball, soccer ... but as a young kid you really don’t know all about nutrition so I was just eating what I wanted to eat like fast-food. From a young age I was eating really poorly. So I was a little overweight as a child. But as I started to grow and get more mature my body started to grow and I started to get a lot leaner. So I thought, 'You know what, I have the athletic ability, I might be able to do something in sports.' And I decided that I was going to start lifting, get stronger, and see where this sports thing can take me. So that’s basically how it started. As a junior I started varsity on basketball and then I did pretty well - 3rd team all county. So I was like, 'Wow, this is actually a thing.' So I decided to get stronger, bigger, and thankfully I grew a little bit more and I ended up playing college basketball. Lifting from an early age really helped me grow as a man and just made my body grow more maturely so fast. "
"Lifting from an early age really helped me grow as a man and just made my body grow more maturely so fast."
ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL AND GETTING STRONGER
"On my way to college I didn’t know what to expect. I went into college thinking I was all that. You know, high school basketball 1st team all county, no one could touch me. Then I went into college basketball and realized I was a boy amongst men. I was playing against 30 year olds in college basketball. I just felt like I didn’t belong there - like I shouldn’t be here right now. So after my freshman year of college, I decided I needed to get even bigger and stronger so I lifted at least 5 to 6 days a week just trying to get my body as big as possible because I knew I had to stand up to these guys and they were just so much bigger than me. So that also really determined me to get bigger, stronger, and faster. "
"I had anxiety problems. I don’t even know what type of place I was in. My mind, my everything was all out of whack."
THE "LIVE IN THE MOMENT" TATTOO
"It goes pretty far back, about 2 years..I dealt with a lot of shit like anxiety problems and stuff like that. So I would always focus on the future and what if.. what if that.. So my dad always would tell me whenever I’m feeling shitty like just live in the moment and always think about the present. Don’t look towards the future. Just pay attention to everything that’s happening now and worry about the future when it gets there. So it’s just always a reminder to me whenever my thoughts are getting to 'those' types of thoughts to always just stay in the present moment. "
ON HIS ROLE MODEL
"LeBron James would have to be my role model - he is just so professional. He is really everything you would want an NBA superstar to be. He is a perfect role model, does so much charity work, and is just an unbelievable person. He’s a a 3 time NBA champion, 3 time finals MVP, 4 time league MVP... He’s our generation’s Michael Jordan. So I’m pretty sure everyone like me looks up to him, especially in terms of basketball and lifting-wise. I see Lebron’s body and I want to have shoulders like Lebron James so I work as hard as I can. He drives me to work hard every day and lift as much as possible to hopefully get a body like his."
"Always just be patient, keep working hard, and you’ll see the end result and know it’ll all be worth it."
ADVICE TO THOSE BEGINNING THEIR FITNESS JOURNEY
"They have to be patient. Results come with time. You’re not going to see results in the week. I would tell them to always just be patient, keep working hard, and you’ll see the end result and know it’ll all be worth it. "