Jay Bilas is a Charlotte local—in fact, he still practices law there—and hometown college Queens University invited him to give its commencement speech earlier this month. If you follow the Bilastrator on Twitter, you know he’s an enormous fan of the Snow Man (Young Jeezy), and he wasted little time in his remarks to quote the urban philosopher. “Real recognize real,” he told the assembled students.
This is maybe the most self-deprecating commencement speech you’ll see this year: Bilas touches on everything from his lack of hair to lack of importance (“I’m here because Dick Vitale was unavailable,” he says), and he gives the five B’s of speech-giving as “Be brief, brother. Be brief!”
Of course, there is plenty of solid advice mixed in, too. I really liked what he had to say on not being afraid to take even the smallest, seemingly least important jobs, because they can lead to bigger and bigger things in your career. He discusses his own willingness to drive hours to cover games on the radio for $200, and his story on NBA coach Kevin Eastman is worth hearing for anyone stuck in a job that feels like a rut:
A mentor of mine told me, if you want a job in this industry never turn down a basketball opportunity. His name was Kevin Eastman. (His name still is Kevin Eastman, by the way.) He told me a story about when he was out of work up in Richmond, he had been fired from a job as a head coach, and he got a phone call asking if he could get down to Mississippi the next day to fill in at a clinic. And he said to himself, ‘This is a basketball opportunity.’ He hopped in his car and drove overnight to Mississippi and he spoke at that clinic.
At that clinic he met Doc Rivers and got to know him. And through that relationship he was hired by Doc Rivers on his staff and was with them with the Celtics when they won a championship…. Because no job was too small, he was able to realize his dream.
[H/T: Sporting News]