The only NBA player personally responsible for more bedroom posters than any boy band, Shawn Bradley, is now a guidance counselor at a school in Utah. It is a non-profit school with 140 students, which claims that “parents find us because their sons and daughters are unable to be successful in their current situation.”
The 7-foot-6 Bradley is a faculty member at West Ridge Academy, but his role at the school is hard to define: He has worked as the vice-principal, counselor, coach and friend.
(Sidenote: I would love to get paid to be a “friend”.)
“Shawn has a great presence – due to his size – and has immediate credibility with the kids,” said Ken Allen, the executive director at West Ridge. “His instant credibility when he’s talking to kids make him an incredible mentor.
“He is a great example of someone who has worked hard and been very successful. Being so tall wasn’t always easy for him. He knows about being the ‘odd kid’ and dealing with that.”
As Basketbawful astutely points out, there’s something deliciously ironic in the fact that “someone who has been schooled as often as Shawn Bradley is now teaching school.” Regardless, my respect goes out to Shawn for stepping up and doing something like this.
“It’s a chance to put kids on the path to be productive, not destructive,” Bradley said. “Some of these kids come here with a lot of hate and a lot of anger.”
Upon retirement, most NBA cats will fall back into a leisurely life of cigar smoking, bad golf, car washing, gambling, and homophobic rants on the radio. It’s always good to hear of someone lending their time to a worthy cause.