Most of us might struggle to believe that, at 2.1 metres tall, Steven Adams was scared of anyone.
But Glenda Parks, his “school mum” at Scots College in Wellington, terrorised him as she chased him around the school demanding his homework.
Now the rising basketball star is fully funding a scholarship at the school to give other boys the chance to be scared into success, the way he was.
"I just want to give another kid the same opportunities I had at a great school," said Adams, 21, who has just completed his first season in the NBA with Oklahoma City Thunder on NZ$2.6 million a year.
The scholarship - which could amount to more than $240,000 - will be awarded to a young New Zealander who shows exceptional skills in basketball and is identified as having character traits also associated with Adams: determination, commitment and humility among them.
"Achilles," by Roger Huang
McElderry Park Basketball. 12 July 2014.
Rasheed Wallace — Portland Trail Blazers
Working for the Weekend - Loverboy (official video feat. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson)
B/R: What were your thoughts when LeBron James left for Cleveland, and how do you think that affected the NBA landscape?
RS: I wasn’t surprised. I just think sometimes you need a change. He made a change, came to Miami and did what he had to do. And he missed home. There’s nothing like being home. So he gets to go back home and be the hero that he is regardless. There’s no better story than coming back to Cleveland and winning a couple of championships for the city of Cleveland.
I also think it’s better for the league. Here’s my take on LeBron and teams trying to stack three proven superstars to win a championship: As hard as it (is) for Heat fans to see LeBron going back to Cleveland, I feel it’s better and healthier for the league and teams in general. The league will have more parity across the board and feature two stars on each team, which will force other players, young or old, to step up and elevate their games to be stars in their own right. It will stress more teamwork as we witnessed with the Spurs.
B/R: Compare for a moment being an NBA veteran to now being a DJ veteran. What feels more satisfying to you?
RS: It takes blood and guts and work and pain to get to where you get to in an athletic world. This music is just passion, it’s just spending time, it’s being a student, it’s having talent within that. It’s just developing a sound. It’s all within what you love to do.
But sports is guts, it’s glory, it’s the hero, it’s the G.O.A.T., it’s pressure. In this world, it’s more fun. You can’t compare, and the best thing that could have ever happened to me is to be able to play sports and get the discipline that I got playing sports, and then coming back and doing this with music. It’s continuing on with the passion that I’ve always had.