NBA star Etan Thomas is a father of three beautiful children. He recently wrote a book about parenting that highlights fatherhood as an achievable challenge. Thomas sat down with NY Daily News to talk about his new publication.
Inspiration for Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge.
“I just wanted to go through each topic and aspect of fatherhood. Some parts focus on young men getting over the anger of not having a father with them. In another chapter, I deal with the fact that when kids are younger and come from a single-parent home, all these statistics tell them that they are not going to be successful. They are going to end up in prison. I want to tell young people they can create their own path and here are some people who have done just that. These are people who have been through situations way worse than yours. Just look at Baron Davis and Kevin Durant, both of whom were able to rise above their upbringings.”
What Thomas would like readers to take away from his publication.
“It’s just like that old saying, the man with no shoes didn’t know how good he had it until he saw the man with no feet. I want readers to come away from this book believing that you can be whatever you want to be even if you come from a situation that isn’t favorable. If you don’t have a father in your home or things are tough, you can still choose to make the right decisions that are beneficial to your entire life. Break the cycle. These are men who have done just that. President Obama came from a single-parent household. He didn’t know his father. And now he is the President of the United States. If he can do that, anything is possible. You don’t have to be a statistic.”
The significance of fatherhood.
“If there are no positive male influences in a young man’s life, then who are they going to look up to? I understand that when they go toward the gang life it is because the gang is like a brotherhood. The OGs are like your father figures. But that’s the negative. I want to show what can happen if you choose a positive father figure.
My parents were divorced when I was younger. My father was not in the home with me. Sure, I had a relationship with him, but it wasn’t the same as if he had actually lived in the house. I explain in the book how I had to look at other men as positive role models, like my pastor or my assistant coach at Syracuse, or my grandfather. These were positive men that I had to have in my life for guidance. My dad is still alive. I sent him a copy of the book. Certain parts will probably be tough for him to read, but other parts he’ll appreciate, like the forgiveness part. You have to forgive. You have to move on. You can’t keep that anger inside of you.”