What I learnt from Leroy Loggins
My latest guest on Talking with TK was NBL legend Leroy Loggins. One of the most entertaining players to hit these shores, American born Leroy came here as an import but loved it so much his a true blue Aussie who naturalised and represented Australia at the 1992 Olympics, an event he still considers a highlight in career that included 21 years in the NBL, 3 championships, 3 League MVP’s and selection to 9 All NBL first teams.
From the mean streets of Baltimore, Leroy has a fascinating tale and our conversation includes some great stories and personal insights into what made him successful. Listen to the entire conversation on the player below.
Here are my key takeaways:
SIZE ISN’T EVERYTHING
Yeah Leroy was tall, but he didn’t possess the huge frame of the monsters on pounded the paint on the inside. His point of difference was to play to his strengths:
“I wasn’t the biggest player in the game and I was taught I had to out think and out hustle my opponent because I can’t out muscle them”
HE NEARLY LEFT THE BULLETS
Towards the end of his career, most wouldn’t know that Leroy actually came really close to leave his beloved Bullets.
“A lot of people don’t know this but I was going to become a Illawarra Hawk, I think it was around 2000 or just before, the Bullets didn’t want to pay me, and they were lucky because I was packing up my house and told my wife to turn off my mobile phone and she forgot and the Bullets called at mid night and said they were going to accept my offer and I said lucky for you because I was about to go and I was coming back to do some serious damage”
THE POWER OF THE MIND
It’s interesting that so many world class athletes believe in the power of the mind through visualisation. Leroy was no different.
“I believe in the power of the mind, a lot of believe I might be a little loony, but i know what I was doing was a part of my process and a lot of that was power of the mind. I was using visualisation, I came across that stuff when I was 13 or 14 and when I got older I learnt to train my brain before I played it, so If we are playing the Melbourne Tigers, I would sleep and eat the game even before I even played it. I use Ginseg, acupuncture which would help me focus and I used to catch a lot of slack in the locker room, even when i got older guys used to complain Its too hot I don’t want to train, I would be like it’s too cold I’m going to the car to get my coat and we would train hard for 2 hours and when it was done guys would go home but I would stay and If I didn’t make 25 shots I couldn’t go home and that’s in a row without missing one and that’s how my foul shooting improved, it was the whole mental attitude towards the game”
SELF MOTIVAITON TO SUCCEED
How many times are we told we can’t make it or even surrounded by people who constantly make excuses. When opportunity knocks it is important to grab it with both hands and to think when Leroy first came out to Australia he came with $20 borrow and a borrowed suit case from his Aunt and a borrowed jacket from his father.
“One thing about me was I wasn’t going to let this opportunity go by, I let too many opportunities go by in my life, so I said I’m taking this opportunity I know too many people who on the journey say I could’ve, would’ve, should’ve and I didn’t want to be one of those people so I wanted to take my opportunity with both hands because if I didn’t someone else would and that was the start of my Aussie career”
HE DIDN’T MAKE HIS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM
We all have set back and failures, but it is our ability to persevere and find another way that will define us. Leroy couldn’t even make his high school basketball team despite being a standout player in the Baltimore Summer League. Leroy is a perfect example of never being gifted anything but through hard work and dedication anything can happen.
“I couldn’t make my high school basketball team and fortunately we had a summer league, our summer league team was one of the best in Baltimore city. But when it came to choosing a high school, I chose to go to a high school Forest Park, 45 minutes from where I lived and all my team mates went to a high school called Southern High School and they were number 1 in the state and alot of those guys got scholarships to go to college, and I couldn’t even make my high school team but I’m the best player on my summer league team, I played 2 games and quit. I was fortunate the coach from the junior college was umpiring one of the games I played in and I asked him if I could play and he said I would have to do a hell of a lot better than what he saw and I ending up going there for 3 years”
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE
When the going gets tough you’re going to need some great people to help you on the journey. Even people as strong as Leroy needed some help along the way. So be mindful of the company you keep and also be there for others when they are need.
“I tried to do it all by myself without any support and I ended up going to school anywhere from 3 pm to 9pm, Basketball practice was at 3 so I didn’t even have a chance, so I dropped out hanging out on the streets, but my friends encourage me to go back, which I did and the rest is history”
“I do believe in fate, when I kept trying to throw my life away it kept coming back to me, Basketball was going to be my transportation to my next destination and that’s what I do now work with young kids to give back and instil in them some positive messages about life and focus where you want to go”
A great message by Leroy and something we should all do in terms of giving back to the community, spreading positive messages and helping children grow.
5 PEOPLE HE WOULD INVITE TO A PRIVATE DINNER PARTY
Always an interesting question to see the personalities of high achievers and where they look for inspiration, guidance and even entertainment. Leroy’s selections:
Martin Luthor King, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Pryor
Some great stories and tips from a living legend of Basketball who also is doing some tremendous work away from the game and giving back to the community. Check out the entire interview and let me know what you think at Tristan@talkingwithtk.com
I have conducted 100’s of interviews with some of the most successful people across business, art, sport and fitness on The Vision Board Podcast and also Talking with TK. Guests on my shows have included Johnathan Thurston, Layne Beachley, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mario Andretti, Evander Holyfield, Kieren Perkins, Andrew Ettingshausen, Michael Klim, Preston Campbell, Bryan Habana, Karmichael Hunt, Robbie Maddison, Paul Harragon, Mark Occhilupo, David Campese, Paul Wade, Trevor Hendy and Anthony Mundine.
You can find all of these episodes on Apple Podcasts & Stitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Enjoy the show