One father told his son that he didn’t expect to see him live to the ripe old age of eighteen.
One dad prepped his son to be ready to market himself.
Another was more impressed with the dynamics of the helicopter than the actual ride.
And one son’s last name was changed when Uncle Sam demanded so to his father.
These are the stories of four of the fathers of some of LeagueApps’s friends and investors- Sam Jones, Allan Rabil, Eddie Battle (Battier), and Ambrose Robinson. Though minor stories, they each represent just how Dhani, Paul, Shane, and David rose to become superstars.
Former New York Giants and NFL linebacker Dhani Jones credits the shaping of his life and career to his father. Sam didn’t expect his then 13-year-old son to make it to the age of eighteen. At the time, Dhani was hanging with a “bad crowd.” Sam needed Dhani to focus his attention to other friends.
“My father was a retired Navy commander, and on every birthday of mine, he’d wake me up at midnight,” Jones remembers. “We’d drive around in the car and reflect on my life.” Sam’s determination in keeping his son away from the bad crowds is what drove Dhani into playing sports, his new “friends.” It was with that determination that Dhani became a feared linebacker in the NFL.
Having also served in the Navy, Ambrose Robinson raised his son David in much the same capacity. David Robinson would go on to the NBA Hall of Fame, but not without crediting his father, a mechanic.
Before David became “The Admiral,” he was a city-touring prospect being wined and dined by NBA teams. During one such visit to San Antonio, the red carpet was rolled out for Ambrose and David in the form of a helicopter ride over the city. Ambrose wasn’t phased by the ride. But he was in awe of how the helicopter functioned from a mechanical standpoint.
Ambrose’s attention to detail to each and every screw and gear on that helicopter was how he approached almost everything. That attention to detail flowed on to the court for David. His work ethic in practice and his polished fundamental game was unparalleled for over a decade in the NBA.
Paul Rabil’s father Allan always knew his son was destined for stardom. Perhaps not in lacrosse, but certainly in any athletic competition. It just so happened it was lacrosse and it just so happened that his son helped transform the sport into the fastest growing in the country.
“He was blessed with talent to play on the field,” Allan recounts. Given his large frame and cat-like quickness, Allan joked that sometimes he should have encouraged his son to play basketball. Still, his father pushed Paul to play hard and give it all in everything he did. After his commitment to Johns Hopkins in lacrosse, Allan knew that Paul was due for big things on and off the field.
“You have to be OK with showing a more personable side,” Allan said, comparing his son’s marketability to the likes of Peyton Manning and Vernon Davis. With over 182,000 Instagram followers and 65,000 YouTube subscribers, it’s that marketability that has allowed Paul to be the face of US Lacrosse.
Arguably the face of Duke basketball in the early 2000s, Shane Battier is not Shane Battier without the help of Uncle Sam. Literally.
His father was born Eddie Battle. However, due to a slight error in his birth certificate, Eddie Battle became Private Battier when he reported for duty in the US Army. And just like that, the Battier family was born.
Anyone who watched Battier play ball is reminded that although Battle is not his official last name, it certainly is a fitting one. Never afraid to hide from a charge or let others dive for loose balls, Battier was a headache to opposing teams for almost 15 seasons and was twice voted to the NBA All-Defensive second team. Like his father Eddie when Uncle Sam changed his last name, Battier was never one to back down from any challenge. He would “just roll with it.”
Each of these professional athletes adopted some if not all of the characteristics that their fathers instilled in them at a young age. They’re even some of the same values that LeagueApps is dedicated to. It’s these values that drive the LeagueApps team, and their investors, to work tirelessly in simplifying the life of the sports organizer. It just so happens that some of these sports organizers happen to be dads, and Father’s Day is their day.
Father’s Day is a time of celebration. It allows us to remember all the great things that they do or have done. Even if we sometimes forget to thank them. Dads like Sam, Ambrose, Allan, and Eddie may be in the spotlight, but there are dads like them in every community. Happy Father’s Day, dads. We love you. All of you.