Legendary NBA Point Guard, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, represents more than the American Dream. He represents a universal truth and a promise to each of us that our dreams are only as far off as we allow them to be, and that the power of belief supersedes any ideas society may hold for what is possible in our lives.
Raised in the Lafayette Court Housing Projects in Baltimore, Muggsy witnessed poverty and violence during much of his early childhood, culminating with a gunshot wound he suffered at the age of five when he was hit with a stray buckshot. His father was incarcerated for much of his younger life as his mother struggled to make ends meet for him and his siblings.
Soon enough, the game of basketball beckoned, providing hope and structure for Bogues’s young life. His late mother and sister Sherron’s unwavering faith and encouragement in his athletic ability allowed him to shut out the naysayers who taunted him, both on and off the court, over his smaller 5’3” stature.
Muggsy studied the game and mastered his defensive moves and vertical jump (an impressive 44 inches off the ground). With his Dunbar High School basketball team becoming ranked the number one high school basketball team in the nation, Bogues rode that wave throughout his career-making plays at Wake Forest University, ultimately becoming the shortest player in history to get drafted into the NBA as the 12th overall draft pick in 1987.
After a season with the Washington Bullets, Bogues was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in 1988, where he would ultimately find his footing, helping to lead the Hornets to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, and putting the franchise on the map alongside his teammates, Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. It was with the Charlotte Hornets that Mogues also met lifelong friend, Dell Curry, during which he mentored Curry’s two sons, Stephen and Seth, who went on to play in the NBA. After nine years with the Charlotte Hornets, Bogues rounded out his career playing for the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors, before retiring in 2001 after fourteen seasons in the NBA.
Now, at age 58, Bogues, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, spends time speaking and helping to run his Muggsy Bogues Family Foundation in his adopted home of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Foundation provides essential resources and educational opportunities to underserved communities in the area. His memoir, MUGGSY: My Life from a Kid in the Projects to the Godfather of Small Ball (Triumph Books), recounts his extraordinary life in vivid detail, providing an inspirational blueprint for beating the odds and living with passion and purpose.