Eventually, though, he knew he would have to face the music. When he finally broke the news to his parents his mom was supportive, but his dad was silent. “That was the worst,” he says. “I would much rather have him be angry and yell at me. When he went quiet, I said, ‘Dad, don’t be disappointed; be angry.”’

It turns out Dad was just processing the information. His dad’s response is something he will remember forever.

“He said, ‘Son, if this is what you want to do, if you want to be a professional athlete … then be a professional athlete. Don’t waste the next 10 years of your life being stupid. Do it properly. If you become the best you can be, I will be very proud of you.’”

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