My Hometown Hero
By melinchina on Aug 12, 2008
In 2005 Deontay Wilder was not too different from most of the guys in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama - graduated from Central High School, had a girlfriend, had a steady job delivering beer for Greene Beverage. But in 2005 things started changing for him. That's when his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord doesn't form properly while the baby is in utero. Before Naieya was born her doctors told Deontay that her condition was severe and that this baby was going to require a lot of surgeries and treatments if she was ever going to learn to walk. And naturally that meant Deontay was going to have to come up with a lot of money to pay for all the surgeries and treatments, and he knew that was going to be tough in his current job so he started searching for ways to earn a lot of money fast. One day when he was making a delivery to a local restaurant he saw Jay Deas' Skyy Boxing gym across the parking lot. He walked over to check it out, heard the sound of gloves hitting punching bags and said something inside him stirred. It was the first time he'd ever set foot in a boxing gym.
Okay, flash forward three years and Deontay is AT THE OLYMPICS!!! Can you believe that? In 2005 he strapped on a pair of boxing gloves for the very first time and now in 2008 he might very well win a gold medal in men's heavyweight boxing. I can't imagine the dedication and passion that has fueled his rapid ascent. I don't even know him but he's my latest hometown hero.
Deontay and Evander Holyfield
Deontay has his first fight tomorrow, August 13, so if you're watching TV or if you're lucky enough to be there, please cheer extra loud for him. I want him to win for his own sake and for the sake of his daughter.
If you want to give him personal props you can leave a comment on his blog, "Determined not Destined".