There was no chance that Josh Childress would not make it out of his neighborhood here on the Los Angeles-Compton border.
His family would see to it. His community would have it no other way.
Everyone believed in Childress, including his selfless mother, his brothers who set his path and locals who never tried to deter him…
“A big reason why I was able to make it where I am now was people at the park accepted me,” Childress said. “There were no gang-bangers trying to pull me into their world. They tried to uplift me in my own. That had to do with the respect they had for my brothers and family. It was because we were hard-working people.”
Teri Childress was a cytologist, studying cells for cancer, and worked a shift ending at 3 a.m. She still took Josh and his younger brother, Chris, to school each morning and babysat a grandchild before taking Josh to basketball practices or club tournaments…
Childress picked Stanford over North Carolina and Kansas because of how the team got along. Today with the Suns, he feels the same way as he contributes despite playing with a splint on a fractured finger. He averaged 30-plus minutes in each of his last three seasons with Atlanta but is at 18 per game with Phoenix, although he could get more time at power forward and when his finger heals.
“The Suns remind me of Stanford,” Childress said. “Everyone likes each other. We have fun. We’re on the bus laughing and joking. We come to work, but everyone’s good guys. I’m glad I’m part of it.”