Did you see Kevin Durant’s MVP speech? If not, go to YouTube right now and check out the full speech. This guy’s words will make the manliest of men break down. Now, I learned my lesson back when “Best Man Holiday” came out. I will never admit to crying at anything again. Thanks to one of my friends, I don’t have to. He blessed me with a new term. We call it the “eye sweats.” Men get sweaty eyes. I’ll just say this: listening to KD made my eyes sweat a tad bit. All jokes aside; anyone who has ever experienced major challenges in life and has been able to overcome the challenges can attest to the myriad of emotions he had to be feeling. Check out these statistics.
An NBA team can have anywhere between twelve to fifteen players at any given time. Considering those numbers, there are three- hundred sixty to four-hundred fifty total players each year. Thousands of hopefuls work hard for a chance to make it to the league. Out of those thousands, only three- hundred sixty to four-hundred fifty men can be in the NBA. Then out of those numbers, only twenty-six are considered All-Stars. At twenty-five years old, this man is not only an all-star. He is this year’s MVP. That’s a major accomplishment. As he accepted his award a few days ago, he emotionally thanked each teammate individually. Then, Kevin began to reminisce on the challenges he and his family faced as he thanked his mom.
“You had my brother when you were eighteen years old. Three years later, I came out. The odds were stacked against us…single parent with two boys by the time you were twenty-one years old.” He went on to say, “On of the best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other. We thought we made it. You woke me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups, and screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”
So, Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend. My mother is in Germany working with Mercedes Benz. She will be there for awhile. We gave her cards and words of love before she left because we knew we wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so on Mother’s Day. As I write this article, I too am reminded of the sacrifices my mother made for our family. I am the oldest of five children. I have two brothers and two sisters. My mother bought me my first keyboard. She bought me my first drum-set. She bought my first car. I’ve been preaching for fifteen years now and I can count on one hand how many sermons she’s missed. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. I remember my mother working as a Corrections Officer and Home Health Nurse at the same time when I was a teenager. She barely slept. Yet, she barely complained. She often went to bed hungry so that we could eat. I can totally relate to Kevin Durant’s story. Although I am nowhere near the sixty- million dollar net worth of Kevin Durant, stories like his remind me of my own story and keeps me motivated to reach every goal I have. I desire to make enough money to retire my mother and make sure she is comfortable for the rest of her life. This desire is one of my main motivators for working as hard as I do. I’ll get there one day. When I do, Kevin Durant’s speech has reminded me of a few things that I want to share with you.
Never Forget Who Helped You
Yes, Kevin is the person you want to have the basketball in crunch time. He is the league’s leading scorer. Yet and still, his speech primarily consisted of thanking everyone who has played a part in getting him where he is…from God to his teammates to his mom. He knows that without his supporting cast, he couldn’t be a star.
Never Forget Where You Came From
This is what is going to keep you humble when arrogance would try to rear its ugly head. This is what will keep you going during those times you may want to give up. This is what will cause you to keep a heart of thanksgiving and stay in a place where God can continue to bless you!
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full-time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).
Romel has been married for 9 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with two beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar (6) and Moriah Kelis (3).