Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 2:04 pm  |  28 responses

Contest: Doing Work a la Blake Griffin

Win a limited edition hat!

by Pardeep Toor

For a four-day stretch in February, the past met the future in Norman, OK. On LockerBlogger & Blake Griffin hatSaturday, February 6, the Sooners honored past great Wayman Tisdale, and then honored 2009 NBA first overall pick, Blake Griffin, at a halftime recognition ceremony on February 9.

Walking onto the court in Norman for the first time since leaving school after his sophomore year at Oklahoma, Griffin participated in a night named in his honor while wearing a distinct customized hat supporting Sooners’ crimson and creme with the word “WORK” displayed vividly on top. Work – a word that Griffin uses to define himself and his journey from the 2009 Naismith college player of the year to the number one overall pick in the draft and now rehabbing from a season-ending knee injury before ever playing a regular season game in the association.

The hat, designed by Griffin himself, displays the quote — “Success is when talent means hard work” — underneath the rim, again the motto of Griffin’s journey and recovery from setback this year. The back of the hat showcases Griffin’s initials, “BG.”

“I chose that quote because it reflects who I am, both a person and an athlete. For many people, talent comes naturally. But I’ve always felt that it’s the hard work you put in that ends up making the difference,” said Griffin in a statement.

LockerBlogger, a social networking and merchandising platform connecting athletes with their fans, has released 500 limited edition Griffin hats and wants to give SLAMonline readers a chance to win one of these esteemed products.

“We’re excited to work with great athletes like Blake. The promotion with Blake’s hat illustrates how LockerBlogger helps pro athletes market their merchandise, charities and other ventures,” said Steve Rimland, CEO/Founder of LockerBlogger. “LockerBlogger’s ultimate goal is to provide athletes with simple tools to help connect with their fans while building their online brands responsibly.”

LockerBlogger is giving away four limited addition hats. First prize is a cap personally autographed by Griffin and three other readers will win “Work” hats to represent Oklahoma University and Griffin himself.

To win – share a story about a time when you saw hard work and talent culminate in success. Ball, life, love or all three, share your best story in the comments below to win this lid.

LockerBlogger & Blake Griffin hat

LockerBlogger & Blake Griffin hat

LockerBlogger & Blake Griffin hat

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  • DDB

    As a high school senior I transferred schools and wound up riding pine all season due to my unfamiliarity with the team and system. I went on to bust my back all summer to walk on at a D1 program. Early in the season I got into trouble when I was at a party where a fight occurred and was removed from the team (because I was out too late not because I was fighting). I transferred to a division 2 school…but over the summer before starting at that school, I blew my knee out and missed that whole next year. After virtually playing 0 basketball under the whislte for 3 years, I worked my butt off to be a contributor at my new school. As a result of the step down in comeptition, I was asked to play power forward, a big change from my natural position of shooting guard. I put on 20lbs of muscle and garnered conference rookie of the year my first year and led my team to (at the time) their best consecutive seasons in school history. I was also team captain. Since leaving my college program has been a mainstay in the division 2 top 25.

    I felt my relentless attitude and unnerving work ethic was a result for my success and my team’s success. I was never discouraged by the series of events that kept me off the court. I focused on how I was going to return to the court and the impact I would make once there. Summer days of 5miles of running, an hour in the weight room, a few hours of skill work, and summer league games prepared me. It didn’t turn out bad for a kid that played about 30 minutes all season as a high school senior.

  • Sean

    Kobe Bryant.
    *those two words in my mind define hard work and talent.
    I know Blake is also a beast, but living in Los Angeles, I have grown to appreciate and love the game of Kobe over the past several years. I had an opportunity to watch Kobe at his Nike Live event and to hear him speak about training every day to be better than the next, as well as his love and passion for the game and as an athlete was truly inspiring. I never realized how much intense training goes into each game (outside of the game). For each and every player to work so hard on and off the court is incredible!

    I havent really had an opportunity to see BG play that much, other than in pre-season, but definitely look forward to him recovering so I can watch him live next year here in LA. I admire Blakes passion and persistence to still train and do exercises while not being able to play in the regular games. That must be really tough for him, but hes a real cool cat and his talent, hard work, and persistence will definitely pay off and show next season, cant wait!!

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  • Ball For Life

    This is the story of my dad. He came here in the 1990′s when he was about 26 years old. He came from India and didn’t understand English much. He was always a hard worker and almost became a doctor in India. He worked every day trying to make a living. He found interest in truck driving. He started off as a regular truck driver, but with his talent to succeed and work hard, he slowly started to move up. Along with my mom, he started a company with my 2 uncles. Today, he is co-owner of a steadily growing company. He didn’t give up in life, and worked hard. He is my number one role model and inspiration.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    this is the reason why he won’t be a bust. Even if he doesn’t come back like the player he was, he has the work ethic to contribute to any NBA team. Busts bounce out of the league withing 5 years

  • Brett Gottlieb

    My wife is an amazing individual that works harder than most people I have ever seen at things she is passionate about. In 2002 without knowing a single person in the US, she decided to move away from her home and family in Israel and purse a singing career in the US. When she arrived she found a place to live, got a job and started making friends and connections in the industry. That year happened to be the 1st year of American Idol and she went to tryout. Low and behold she was selected as part of the final set to go to Hollywood and even got 3 yes’s from our favorite idol judges, but she hit a little hurdle after leaving the famous room, she needed to be a US Citizen to complete and of course she wasn’t. This didn’t stop her from working harder to meet the right people and make those industry connections.
    We actually met in 2003 and from that point on I watched her purse this dream with heart and desire. She practiced every day, took singing lessons, emailed and called people in the industry to see what she can do next. After long days and nights, she started to work with a special group/program in 2006 that helped up and coming singers with stage presence and singing skills. From this program she met her future Musical Director and Producer. Near the end of 2007, after several sessions with this program she decided it was time to make a demo and really put forth the energy and desire to having something special for people to listen to. With the help of her connections from the Boot camp, she put together a team of people that believed in her and her god given abilities and for the next year wrote and recorded her first full length album. Yes, it started as a demo, but just grew and become this amazing CD and overall project.
    With her team they crafted music, videos, websites, marketing/promotions and even special showcases. On August 8, 2008 (08-08-08) her full length album was released and her dreams were becoming reality. The CD was received well and many industry people felt it was something special, but they still hadn’t called for those big record deals. The industry was now changing so much that it was even harder than ever to make it, but instead of give up, she continued to make contacts and learn more about the industry and herself. She has had good sales success with the debut CD and can say it’s something she accomplished and is still working on. She continually writes new music and is looking forward to her next album, but for now she has found a new passion in acting and just like she did with her music she is attacking it full steam ahead. She has been on several shows and is looking forward to her first major movie role in the next few months. In fact a role that should bring her an opportunity to share her singing ability and continue down that path at the same time. I think most important through all the trials and tribulations she has had, she never lost herself and always looks to help others and give back. During these tough times in Haiti, she even offered her CD for free to people that donated to the Haiti efforts (www.LiTaLjourneyback.com/Haiti). What she has done is amazing and inspires me to be a better person and try harder at everything I do. If you want to check out her music she is on iTunes or just visit her website – http://www.LiTaLjourneyback.com

  • Extendo

    I definitely would have to give it up to my big brother. His work ethic has been strong since we were kids and now it is about to pay off for him in a big way. He is currently getting ready to move from LA to NYU to become a film student. He is one step closer to his dream of becoming a director, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will accomplish that. The reason I’m so sure that he is going to continue with his success is because he has been honing his talents since we were in elementary school. I can remember as kids he would always look at things with the eye of a director. He would always make short films, so anytime we saw a beautiful landscape he would begin thinking of scenes to take place there. Now thinking back on these times, I’m simply amazed. Imagine a twelve year old kid so sure with what he wanted to do with his life that he starts to put in work on his own volition. His drive was so strong and it only continues to grow.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    I want to know whatever happened to the Junk Food Tee contest.

  • Chris Norwood

    My mom learned the value of hard work at a young age. Growing up, my mom never had a place called home. With her parents in and out of jail, she would sometimes have to sleep in a backseat of a car. As a teenager, she worked several jobs to provide for her five siblings and never once thought about herself. By the time my mom was 25 years old, she gave birth to four sons. She not only raised them and sent them to college, but also fostered over eighty foster children while raising her own. Her dream was to help kids live a better childhood than she did. Out of all of those foster kids, she decided to adopt four of them. She adopted my brother and sister as infants. They are now adults and have their own children. She also adopted me and my twin brother, who are now seniors in high school and have been competitive basketball players our whole life. I just want to thank my mom for giving me the opportunity to play the game that I love and for teaching me that the greatest success in life will come from hard work. –Love, Chris

  • Dan

    My hard work is entering this contest. you make these things so tough :P

  • Balherett3

    Honestly I’m putting alot of hours in my school and ball, but it shouldn’t get the same credit as for people who are at a crossroads with life.Their parent(s) in and out of their lives and other influences,trying to suceed. Much apreciation deserved.These kinds of things help me stay humble and grateful for who and what I got. It’s not everyone out their in the world how shuts up puts their head down and handles business.

  • j-boy

    I thought that last year when Kobe took his Lakers to the N.B.A. finals was just amazing. His three point jump-shots were absolutly fabulous, and when he passed to Fisher that one night in the fourth game against the Orlando Magic and he scored that last second three-point shot he played amazingly. So I just wanted to submit this entry in hopes that it will catch your eye as it did mine.

  • thafanatic

    Today I was in a class and I watched a short documentary on a man and his son who was severly disabled in multiple ways. The two are known as team Hoyt. If you have never heard of them go on youtube and look them up. Anyway, today was the first time I had heard the amazing story. At a young age, Rick Hoyt was diagnosed with cerebral paulsy and other disabilities, which left him wheelchair bound and unable to speak. His father, Dick, saw one day when they took the kids to the pool, that Rick really enjoyed the water. He really enjoyed to swim. Then to make a long story short, technology was discovered to allow Rick to communicate using a computer to interpret his words. Rick went to college at Boston University and while there he found out about a 5k fundraiser for another disabled student. He went home and told his father that he wanted to run in it. This involved his father pushing Rick in a chair the whole 5-mile. After the race Dick saw how competing in these races made his son happy, and for that time let Rick forget about his disabilities and experience some success. Dick and Rick, aka Team Hoyt, began to compete in other races. Up-to date the team has ran in over 1,000 races including 25 years straight of the Boston marathon, other marathons, duathalons, triathalons and 6 of which were iron man races. During all these races Dick drags, while swimming, and pushes, while biking and running, his son towards the finish line. This is an amazing story which I still get goosebumps just hinking about. There is no better example of a father working harder for his own and his son’s success. Dick Hoyt uses his own talents and his son’s enjoyment of races, and works hard to accomplish one of the most amazing feats that I have ever witnessed. By the look in Rick’s eyes as his father pushes him across the finish line is a true look of success. The look on Dick’s face as he holds up his son’s arm after finishing a race is the true look of a proud and successfull father. He is now a hero to me. Definately need to check it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flRvsO8m_KI.

  • Tyler Whitcomb

    “The Howard Jones Story”

    Howard Jones tried out for my Grand Rapids flight team in the IBL in it’s 1st year. He wasn’t even close. Our head coach at the time knew him from recruting him and said he is a 5’11 Shooting guard that can’t do anything, but shoot. I noticed he had a quick release and could stroke it. However, out of 56 who tried out he wasn;t one of the top 20 we invited back. The next year he tried out again for both the Flight and our new team the Holland Blast out of the IBL, we both cut him. He ended up playing for the Lansing Capitals with Delco Rowley form MSU and a very talented bunch and he was just happy being on the team from what I thought. Than later in the season Lansing had some guy’s quit and move on, so he got to play more and more and never let them down with big minutes. In the last 4 games he had 20 points in all 20 games and finally started getting it. I watched him play us at the end of the year and he got 27 points, 14 assists, and 6 Rebounds. The next year he still asked if we had room on our team, where as I would have said screw them. I said we had a very talented group of Point gurads coming back and one of them perhaps being the best Point guard in the league, so play again for Lansing, so you can get more minutes. He again pointed out that he would come off the bench and I told him our backup is the coach’s favorite and he is a perfect backup for what we needed. A Point guard that dosen’t make mistakes and plays real good defense. He said O.K and actually thanked us for the oppurtunity. Again, we played them at the end of the year and we were in 1st place and they were in dead last with only a few wins all year. However I knew we would kill tham and did, we scored 196 points that game, but at halftime he comes up to me and says, ” If I end up with 50 points can I play for you next year?” So I said, he only has 19 points, plus I love his work ethic and attitude, and would want him regardless of how many he ends up with. Yes, I will. The 2nd half starts and he starts absolutely gunning it with guys in his face and nothing but net, shot after shot. Needless to say, he ends up with 51 points and says, I’ll see you next year. Next year comes and he seriously was playing the best I have ever seen, an dhe calls me to tell me that he retires from Basketball because he just had a kid and got hired at a really good job, I never got a chance to tell him how proud I was of him. But, damn what a hard worker! If you would have seen how much one guy improved over a 4 year period, you would have been impressed.

  • chase colliton

    David Lee
    One of the most underrated players in the nba. No one thought he would do what he does now in the NBA. But look at him now. With the hard work he has shown and now he is Mr. double-double

  • Sweetness

    They say life you must make the most of it
    Some don’t try or fail, dreamer they commit to it
    My eyes has seen a great dreamer
    Other thought he would amount to nothing but he became an achiever
    He’s a believer he would tell his friend he gonna have nice house and a table for pool
    They laughed at him but a dreamer don’t mind, wasn’t seen as bright so he didn’t do too well in school
    At the age of 12 got in the work field, working his little heart out
    Dreams seems far away but in his mind there was no doubt
    As he got older, it seems even farther, lose with job, already a father with other one on the way
    Looking into his little girl eyes he knew he had to provide from them so picked up bottles every day
    To make some change for milk and bread for his family to eat
    All his life he hidden that he couldn’t read or write but inside he felt incomplete
    When his saw his two baby girls, he wanted to able to read them a book
    Help them with their homework, so he decide to give school another look
    Starting from ABC but finally got his education
    Got a job, next chapter, new destination
    No more government checks but he’s still haven’t fulfilled his dream
    Decide to own his own business, people thought he would fail but things are not what they seem
    Staring a moving company, bought a van, hustling all the time
    Trying to fulfilled it not only him but for his family, saving every dime
    Working so hard, closer than he’s never been
    Every sweat, pain, problems that came on the way seem just like emotions within
    On the day he sign his house papers, his dream was made alive
    It can all happen if you use your talent, work hard and strive
    This great dreamer is my dad, the hardest working man my eyes was able to see
    His life taught me with hard work you can do anything that’s a guarantee

  • Logues

    my cousin had cancer when he was in his early 20′s. He didnt know if he was gonna survive, or how long he had to live according to the doctors. i will admit that i don’t know much about the details of it all because he is alot older than me and i was very young at the time. but, he fought thru the cancer and i remember at his wedding he started crying, that was the first time ive ever seen a man cry instead of the woman at their wedding. it was pretty powerful, and now he is living a healthy life and has two kids

  • Neon

    Carl Landry. Broke his hand in high school. Injured his leg and his knee in the same year in college. Rehabbed and put up big numbers in Purdue, but still didn’t get drafted until the second round. Stuck on the pine as a rookie, but finally got a chance when Yao got hurt. Without Yao, he helped the Rockets go on the second-longest winning streak in history of 22 games, as a rookie. In the playoffs, he got his teeth knocked off but still finished the game with a last-second block on Deron Williams to save the win. The next year, he was shot on the leg. He resumes practice in 2 weeks and was back on the NBA floor 3 weeks AFTER GETTING SHOT. Then this season, he lost 5 teeth trying to draw a charge from Dirk. Dirk missed his team’s next game. Landry played in his team’s next game. And oh yeah, he drops a career-high 27 points in the process.
    This guy epitomizes WORK in the NBA. Things aren’t just handed to him, he goes after it though hard work. He’s not the most talented player in the L, but he proves time and time again that success is indeed when talent meets hard work.

  • Jordan Bravo

    Im from Toronto an so I rep the Raptors all day! And to describe the word “HARD WORK & TALENT” would have to be Chris Bosh. He’s in his seventh year going to his eight and Chris is having a career high in every category! He’s also gonna have more dominate seasons as he progresses with that extra 15-20 pounds added.

  • beatboxer

    I would have to say that when Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets played the LA Lakers this year, he was completely unstoppable. I mean,he made like nine out of eleven three pointers! And pretty much all of them were swishes! His performance was without Carmelo Anthony,and Chauncey led his team to success over the Lakers themselves!He didn’t do to well at all on his freee throws, but he was hardly even fouled! And Carmelo was there to cheer him on the whole while, with the rest of the team. I was watching Chauncey the whole time ,and his mood was just so amazingly calm. It was like he didn’t have a single care in the world! And when he lined up for a three point shot,his form was even calmer than it looked, and I was watching the game from a long distance! So I just wrote this for Chauncey Billups,for always putting on an amazing show.

  • Jens Christian

    Dejuan Blair laddies and gentlemen, he is the definition of work. Did he stop because of those ACLs? NO. Did he stopwen he slipped to nmber fraking 37 in the daft because og those weird knee’s? NO
    Does he let is small size stop him from grabing 0 rebounds? NO.

    Now that’s hard work.

  • Jens Christian


    Dejuan Blair laddies and gentlemen, he is the definition of work. Did he stop because of those ACLs? NO. Did he stop when he slipped to number freaking 37 in the draft because of those weird knee’s? NO
    Does he let is small size stop him from grabing 20 rebounds? NO. Now that’s hard work.

  • JayChau

    Hard work? Balancing time to earn my Health Science degree and also finding time to go to practice. Easy to say, hard to achieve. Hard work everyday.

  • the_baller20

    When my mom was 18 years old she was living in Czech Republic, Europe and it was very socially harsh and strict. If you ever left the country you could never come back and it didn’t matter what the circumstances where. My mom was tired of living that way, so she planned that she would leave. She knew that if she stayed she wouldn’t have the best opportunities or the best life and she wanted more than that. The worst part about it was that she couldn’t tell anybody about where she was going or else they would try and stop her. She didn’t even have a chance to say good bye to her mother or father. She would probably never be able to see her homeland again. It was a very a big risk to come into a foreign continent, not knowing anybody or speaking the same language. Her journey was all about hard work because she had to get a job, earn money, learn English and start a new life. It was all worth it because in the end she got married to a great man,(my father) had a family and has a wonderful, happy and successful life.

  • Ball For Life

    when does this end?

  • John Andrew Villanueva

    My life is my “WORK”. I work hard to start walking on my own two feet. I work hard on my educate. I work hard on my struggles, my fears, my goals. I work hard on what I have experience throughout my life. I work really hard on those I love the most. I work hard on being ME.

  • Dominique

    My Sister. In a brief summary, she is unlike the teenage girls we view on tv, in that she is a rather shy, quiet, and reserved individual. Growing up in a family overwhelmed by athletic boys obsessed by basketball, it seemed natural at the time for us to assume that she was going to resume our family trend and become another baller. How we assumed wrong. From the moment she was first handed a mini basketball in her crib, she’d instantly reject it, much to our disgust. To compensate for her disinterest in basketball, she developed a hobby on reading and studying. Until now, she has continued to do so, as she strives to be the best academic in school (seriously!). Along the way however, she has had to overcome numerous adversities placed mainly upon by us. They would include several premeditated tirades directed by us regarding her utter lack of interest towards athletics (mainly basketball though), and this at times (if not most), would lead to her rushing to her room, distraught. Consequently, for most of her life, she has had to isolate herself from us to accommodate her interests without disturbance. Presently, not much varied. Now a high school junior, she remains content on studying and reading (still aspiring to become the best academic in school), while we continue being an ogre to her.
    Admittedly, my sister’s tale is not the most glamorous illustration of how “hard work culminates to success”, because her persistence to ignore our persuasion for her to follow our path of becoming another baller, and to instead focus on creating her own path, hasn’t exactly paid dividends for her. However, being familiar to how success comes about (inconsistent jumpsole user, in 2 years, i’ve gained at least 5 inches , enough to barely dunk) I believe my sister is due to receive the credit she truly merits (whether it be soon or later, as hard work pays off at unexpected times). While my proud ego will conceal my true approach about her in person, i’d just like disclose here how i’m truly in awe of her courage to shrug off the challenges she has had to battle, and her persistent determination to continue motivating herself to succeed in the path she has chosen.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Thanks everyone for the great responses. The three winners of the WORK hat are DDB, Brett Gottleib and Sweetness. Tyler Whitcomb gets the autographed lid. Congrats!