Throughout his career, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has had to overcome some challenges to get where he is today.
Mills is from Australia, played college basketball in California, and has journeyed around the world playing basketball in places like Portland, Oregon to China to San Antonio where he’s currently signed with the Spurs.
It indeed is a challenging road for an international player or any player to make it into the NBA, but for Mills, his journey has been one where he’s had to endure racism along the way and use it as fuel to keep proving his doubters wrong.
Speaking with Australian site The Great Lakes Advocate, Mills recently spoke of how racism has been in and out of his journey in basketball, but he also discussed why he wouldn’t let it be an issue that stops him.
“At no point did I let it affect what I do, it kind of even motivates me to be a role model.
“Things are said [on and off the court] when you grow up, but you don’t let it beat you and let your playing do the talking.
“And the more success I can hopefully achieve, that’s my way of sending a reply … It’s died off the further I’ve gone through my career, but that’s the stuff that makes me want to be a role model, it’s my way of giving back.”
Mills is the consummate professional and indeed a role model as he recently began a charity drive to help those in need of a flood that devastated his native Australia. Mills will be representing his country proudly as he’ll be representing the Australian Boomers in the 2012 London Olympic games.
Mills may still have critics and skeptics out there, but come this weekend he’ll be on the world’s biggest stage once again to allow his play to do the talking.