Humanitarian Highlight Reel
October 24, 2012, 10:20 pm
Dominique Wilkins made his name by being “The Human Highlight Reel” on the basketball court for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Now, he’s channeling his competitive drive into a cause that hits a little closer to home: diabetes. Wilkins joined John Canzano on the Bald Faced Truth to talk about his career on and off the court.
Wilkins himself is diabetic, saw both his father and grandfather die from the disease. Now, when he’s not working as the Vice President of Basketball for the Atlanta Hawks or as a Fox NBA analyst, he’s working in the community to promote diabetes awareness and educate on how to properly take care of your body.
Wilkins himself admitted that as a young player he didn’t think about a life outside of basketball. But now that he has long since retired, he has utilized his NBA legacy as a stepping stone towards the charitable work that he’s done in the diabetes community.
Still, basketball has remained “a heavy part” of his life, and in his current capacity with the Hawks and as an analyst with Fox, Wilkins has a prime vantage point to evaluate the current talent in the NBA. Wilkins felt that the league had been very young for the last several years, but as players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have matured, the NBA as a whole has improved. Wilkins goes on to admit that he didn’t have the same luxury of a long time to get used to the NBA game, but he did have the benefit of being surrounded with good veteran players who were willing to help him out.
Still, Wilkins is perhaps most famously known for his participation in the early Slam Dunk Contests -- especially when he would face off against Michael Jordan, who Wilkins calls the greatest player ever. According to Wilkins, those competitions were about one thing: giving back.
“[The contests] weren’t who we were,” said Wilkins. “That was a part of us that we gave back to the fans to enjoy. And we were very proud of that.”
Now Wilkins embraces giving back more than ever, and he’ll be in Portland on November 10th for the Chris Dudley Foundation’s “Circle on the Court” event to benefit kids with diabetes.