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Chances Make Champions

This piece was written by Dejvion Steward, a frequent contributor of Globally Ballin and "The Athletes Forum"

Chances to play a sport professionally comes one in million to most. Those lucky enough to continue their childhood dreams to play at a professional level usually try to take full advantage of that. The major leagues in America (NFL, NBA, MLB etc) tries to find the best talent across the world. Now they tend to miss a few hidden gems from time to time and some guys just run out their time. So, then WHATS NEXT? Well, some guys get this opportunity to go play somewhere else in the world, like maybe Asia, Europe and some other dope places. Playing internationally is a special experience. My time playing in Italy gave me some of my best life lessons and some life memories I will never forget. To go travel and live in a foreign country for most of the year takes some bravery. Someone who is not afraid of challenges and who is a ready to take risk. You have to be ready to be taken out of your comfort zone mentally and physically. I caught up with a guy I grew up with who’s currently playing pro basketball in Europe. His name is Sherron-Dorsey Walker and he spent some time explaining how playing basketball in Europe has made an impact on his life.

Playing basketball in Europe has definitely changed my perspective on life. I honestly did not know what to expect coming over. I must say, I was in a phenomenal situation to start my professional career. I signed a contract to play in Zwolle, Netherlands an hour away from Amsterdam. I learned a lot about myself; I am 24 years old in a new country. So many things going through my mind, all good thoughts. I am person that observes my surroundings. The main thing I observed instantly is how simple Europeans live their lives. That is no disrespect to the lifestyle or people. For example, in the Netherlands there is more bikes than people. That should tell you a lot, compared to America it is almost a joke if you see a grown man riding his bike around the city. It may come with some assumptions that the person riding the bike does not have a good enough career to allow to have a car, etc. However, in the Netherlands it is normal. This may seem like a small example, but it changed my life on things that really mattered. I have always heard less is more, and it is clear to me, that is the way I live my life today.” -Sherron Dorsey-Walker

Me and Sherron both come from Detroit Michigan, so we know all about taking risk. Man, Sherron is a straight up legend in my book.… He’s currently a professional basketball player for Start Lublin of the Polish Basketball League in Poland. Lublin plays in the Basketball Champions League. This feature is special to me to have my first interview on a childhood friend I grew up with. Witnessing his success over the years even back in the day growing up when you saw Sherron you saw a basketball with him! From backyard/street ball to the gym my guy was getting buckets! In high school Sherron went on to win championships with one of the top high school programs in the country (Pershing High School). On top of being a highly recruited athlete on the court Sherron graduated from Pershing as Class Valedictorian. Detroit produces some of the top basketball talent in the country. Not many cities can say they are the basketball mecca like the city of Detroit.

Detroit might be known for many things but having great basketball talent is one of its proudest titles. Now Pershing! Yea Pershing is located on Detroit’s east side and is probably one of the roughest areas in in the city. Its basketball program has had success that no other program can compare to. The winning program of the Doughboys have proven consistent success for over the last 50 years. They have produced multiple NBA players and have won the most state titles for any PSL team.

For some growing up in Detroit can be TUFF... Some things that happen you would think it would only happen in movies… This is what Sherron had to say about growing up in Detroit’s inner city…

“Growing up in Detroit has taught me resilience. When you are growing up in Detroit there is many things that will test the faith you have in your dreams/goals. Whether it is certain temptations to stop, distractions, or hardships along the way. Well, on my journey I have been faced with every type of test you can think of. What has separated me from the rest is not talent; it’s the resilience that was imbedded in me from my family and coaches. Something that had always told me by high school/mentor/father figure, A.W. Canada is “Only the strong survive”. That quote is what I live by, it’s sums up my life; this is the mentality I approach every situation with.” -Sherron

I agree there’s lots of distractions that surround you, and as a kid growing up in the city you can easily get caught up. Every day you have to fight just to stay alive and stay on track. The key is to stay in your own lane, practicing self-discipline, and resilience like Sherron stated. So, if you find your way to stay focused and elevate yourself out an environment that’s counting against you, you are bound to reach a level of success. That’s exactly what he did.

Even though he’s millions of miles away from home, he could never forget the city that made him into the man he is today. Home is where the heart is.

“Detroit is a place with a lot of history, soul, grit, influence, togetherness, and boldness.

Detroit means so much to me, more than I could ever express. Detroit is who I am, it is my identity, I represent Detroit wherever I may be in the world. It is my responsibility to display in a good manner. Every time I go back home I am inspired more, because the city is constantly growing and changing. So, when I am home I get that new energy, love and motivation from my people.” -Sherron

Moving anywhere in general can be a challenge. Rather that’s up the street, to another county or city it’s all new, its unfamiliar, curiosity, anxiety hits you, because you don’t know what to expect. So, some will look at moving out of their homeland country to another as towering! Foreign language is defiantly one obstacle that you have to overcome, adjusting in a whole new environment is challenging and the distance from your family can be overwhelming! SDW described the transition and coping with being put in uncomfortable situations….

“To be honest, this is something I struggled with as I was growing up. If something was hard, I would shy away from it. If I had just one thought in my mind I couldn’t do it, I did not. It haunted me for years and years. What is funny is that, I did not get out my comfort zone for a long time in my life and I was able to have some success. Sometimes I look back and say, what if? That’s a great lesson in itself. As a 27-year-old now, I am always searching for ways to get out of my comfort zone, to me that is growth and living. This world moves at a fast pace, the same with sports and anything you can think about. So, if I want to be the best I can be, I have to constantly search for those situations that make me uncomfortable. That is where you find out things about yourself. I am happy to say today, I love being pushed out my comfort zone” - Sherron

Exactly! Being uncomfortable has elevated me to accomplish things I never would have imagined. In order to achieve goals, you have to step outside of what you consider the norm. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable will help you conquer your goals. If you continue to move as you do today you will continue to get the same results you’ve been getting. Challenges and problems are important parts of life that give you experiences, make you learn and help you to become wiser and stronger. Don’t be scared but embrace every challenge that life presents you.

Before making the move overseas SDW spent his collegiate career with two separate universities. He spent his first two seasons at Iowa State University as a top recruit coming out of Michigan he redshirted his 1st season. He then went on his second year to help Iowa State to win the BIG 12 Conference Championship. Sherron transferred to Oakland university where he had the opportunity to conclude his successful collegiate career back home in Michigan.

Sherron has been able to see so much in the world and accomplish so much just from picking up a basketball. I asked him what basketball means to him..

“Well, basketball in general is something I am so grateful for. It’s allowed me to travel the world and see things I only saw in movies. I have met amazing people and built lifelong relationships, just because of basketball. Basketball has been my gateway since I was 8 years old. I am forever thankful for basketball.” -Sherron

In 2017-18 Dorsey-Walker began his professional career in the Netherlands with Landstede Hammers, who he led to the championship where they were able to obtain the 1st trophy in club history. He spent the next two seasons in the Dutch Basketball league with Landstede. In July of 2020 he signed to play in Poland with Start Lublin. Sherron described winning the championship with the Hammers as one of his favorite moments in Europe….

“By far my favorite moment in Europe was being a part of a team that won the first championship for Landstede Zwolle. It is my favorite because this club is so special. This club is top notch professionals, they treat the players and coaches with the upmost respect. They do everything the right way. The club has always been the underdog in the league, and our group of guys did something that has never been done in the 24 years of the club's existence.”

Making it this far is a blessing and honorable, from being counted out to be an influencer across the world, followed by many young athletes that looks to follow behind his footsteps. Fortunately, he decided not to live his life in fear and took a chance on himself. On and off the court Sherron continues to be a role model in the community rather that’s here in America or over In Europe.

“My responsibility as an African American athlete is not only to be an athlete. It is to be an inspiration in sports, school and community. I like to set an example for everyone that is coming after me, that you are capable of achieving anything that you put good energy and time into. It is easy to tell people to do this and that, but it is more important to show them how. I tell people all the time that it is about the journey, that is where you find true happiness and satisfaction, when everything is done you appreciate all the obstacles you had to go through.” - Sherron

No doubt! Keep elevating and keep up the success my man! Persistance is a very important value for you to be successful in life. It means determination at working hard regardless of any odds or obstacles that may exist. Know this even if you fall straight on your face, taking a risk will be beneficial. You will always gain rather than lose. You gain that insight and experience from failing. So, keep taking risk and definitely keep traveling it allows you to meet people of different cultures, with diverse traditions and distinctive lifestyles.

To the ones reading this, I invite you to take a chance to do something you are afraid to do. Go learn something you thought you could never understand. Take that trip you always wanted to take. Quit that job that don’t make you feel complete. TAKE THAT CHANCE. Chances Make Champions!

“Work hard, work smart, be respectful to yourself, others, and your craft. SDW wishes nothing but true happiness in whatever your journey takes you.”


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