Shad Blair trying to turn hoops dream into a reality
MISSOULA, Mont. - After 4 years of high school ball in Eureka, Montana, and two years at Junior College in Dallas Texas ShadBlair never gave up on basketball but made his family his first priority.
Now, training with hisagent Ryan Wetzel, Blair has realized his dreams of becoming a professional player are still in reach.
"I want to know that I can make it to the level that I've always known I've can make it to....the professional level," Blair explained.
Blair looks to make his dreams reality and bring his family along the way.
"There is way more to life out there than just standing in one position and living in a groove."
Plumbing isn't necessarily the right job for a towering 6-foot-10, 205-pound man. Blair is almost the picture perfect size for a pro center and his agent knew that at the moment he saw him set foot on the hardwood.
"As soon as I walked in the gym I saw this guy dunking the ball, swatting shots, and that is when I started to go 'huh....I wonder what his story is?'" replied Wetzel.
Besides coaching high school sports, Ryan Wetzel runs his own personal training clinic. He's helped open the door for Blair who has been invited to a three-day Miami combine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the end of the month.
The NBA may be a stretch but pro ball overseas is all but in arms reach for the 35-year-old athlete.
"I'm ready to go today," announced Blair.
If given the chance he knows he can provide quality minutes to a team, and his family is ready to go and cheer him on.
"I want to show them an example of never giving up on your goals," said Blair.
Wetzel had a very successful pro career overseas himself. Now he uses those connections to give other worthy candidates a shot at their professional dreams.
"I've got the drive for a challenge, so wherever they need to put me, even if it's not where I'm normally comfortable," said Blair
"And that's the No. 1 thing I've told Shad is to be ready to perform at the top of your game. Who cares how old you are, if you're conditioned you can do it," explained Wetzel.
Blair is putting all the sweat, tears and hours on the court for the combine, in hopes that opportunity opens more doors for a team-specific tryout.