#FOL Pt26 Draft Day: Toronto

The #FruitsOfLabor Story Pt 26 – Toronto Draft Day

In June 2013, my brother Myck Kabongo was on the verge of reaching his life’s dream. He decided to leave college early and enter the NBA Draft. The buzz surrounding him was encouraging considering how much he had been through the passed year. I was proud of his courage to realize his dream. Myck and I had been friends since my time at Nike iD and I’d been able to watch his progression from high school to college to Pro Day. A few days after he announced his decision he hit me with details for the draft party in Toronto. I had never been to Toronto, but it was definitely on my bucket list of places to visit. I booked my flight later that day and the trip was set.

Prior to Toronto, Myck and I caught up in Chicago. I was in town visiting family and he was gearing up for the NBA combine. We grabbed dinner at The Signature Room on 95th and just rapped about future plans and caught up on the latest. We didn’t hang late because he had to be up early for the first day of the combine. I told him, “Grind2Shine!” looking forward to catching up with him and the fam in Toronto. The combine went OK, but probably not his best series of days. He certainly was the quickest kid in the draft, so that boded well for his draft stock. When the combine in Chicago came to an end and the only thing left to look forward to now was hearing his name called in the NBA draft.

I hopped on a straight flight from Richmond International to Toronto Pearson International. It just so happened that I was in the middle of reading a book by Paulo Cuelho, entitled “The Alchemist.” What a great book to be reading in the midst of such an exciting journey. The book is about an ambitious young man traveling the world in search of his personal legend. Not only did this concept apply to Myck with basketball, with so much fire in my heart to achieve extraordinary things, this profound parable also hit home for me too. Still to this day, The Alchemist is one of my favorite books of all time. When I touched down in Toronto, it reminded me a lot of Manhattan. A mix of cultures, chaos, and expenses! I rented a car and headed straight to the party venue. I met up with Myck, Rich, Tristan, and the family and we all settled in as the draft began. Everyone was in festive spirits going in but as the night grew old, Myck’s name was never called. This was one of the hardest things to comprehend considering how high his draft stock had been coming out of school. I mean, it was heart breaking. But, Myck resiliently handled the situation like a true professional. When I saw this, it just reminded me that there are some truly strong people in this world and it inspired me to remain one of them. All in all my trip to Toronto was an unforgettable experience. I’m glad to have been there and soak up the TO culture. Lastly, I am proud of Myck because he ended up playing in the league after all.

Just goes to show you: Failure is on the same road as Success; Success is just a little further down the road.


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