Dominique Wilkins recounted his upbringing in the tough neighborhoods of Baltimore. He shared how, when he was 13 years old, he tragically witnessed the death of a friend due to a bus hopping accident, which was a common but risky activity among young people back then.
“That’s traumatizing,” Wilkins said. “It really is. That bothered me for a long, long time, many years. We were like brothers, and we did everything together.”
This event had a profound and lasting emotional effect on him. By the time he was 16, having been exposed to the prevailing violence and criminality in his community, he made the firm decision to permanently leave Baltimore behind. He relocated to North Carolina without any concrete plans or a place to live.
Fate took a favorable turn when he crossed paths with a high school coach who offered him shelter in exchange for playing on the coach’s team. This marked a turning point for his basketball journey, propelling him into a successful career.
His remarkable progress led to features in Sports Illustrated, and he even took part in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American game, sharing the court with other individuals who would later be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
To gain a deeper understanding, take a look at the video below.