Keynote speaker Chris Bosh, the former NBA basketball player, visited the University of Miami's for their last "What Matters to U" event of the semester. Over 600 students attended the event, where Bosh discussed his life experiences and the importance of work ethic, adaptability, and perseverance.
Bosh shared with the audience how he became obsessed with becoming an NBA star and how his father would drop him off at his grandmother's house in Ohio, where he would watch and play basketball with other children at a nearby playground. Although he only played one year for Georgia Tech before being drafted to the NBA, Bosh shared his admiration for Jim Larrañaga, the Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team head coach, for keeping the University's facilities open to him for training during the 2011 NBA lockout.
Bosh emphasized the importance of perseverance, saying, "Struggling and obstacles are part of life. Just find a way to persevere. It's better than the alternative." He also noted that while he enjoyed looking back at his glory days, he wanted to move on and leave impressions on those who met him.
When asked about mental health, Bosh acknowledged that it was a meaningful conversation and shared his advice about practicing healthy mental health habits, such as knowing how to disconnect. For him, reading was his distraction from basketball and the outside noise.
Bosh was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in 2016, which forced him to retire early. He shared that change is a rite of passage and emphasized the importance of adapting. Bosh is still bouncing back from almost losing his life and is now treating fatherhood with respect by being an example to his children and doing what he is supposed to be doing.
The event also had humorous moments, including when Bosh finished the lyrics to a popular song about him that was sung on the Disney TV show "Jessie." Bosh was also asked to address a common debate in the sport: Who is the better player, Michael Jordan or LeBron James? He couldn't choose one, as he considers both players to be the greatest of all time.
The event ended with Bosh answering questions submitted by students, including one about how it felt to be part of one of the NBA's most famous winning shots. Although Bosh was glad he was part of the moment, he admitted that he wouldn't want to be in that situation again.
Chris Bosh's life experiences and advice serve as an inspiration for young people to persevere and adapt to change. His emphasis on hard work and mental health is a valuable reminder that success is not created overnight and that taking care of oneself is just as important as achieving one's goals.
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