I’m honored to announce that I was recently interviewed by Ben Lambert for an interview now available on NBA.com. During the interview Ben asked me about my journey overcoming illiteracy, my career, and more.

My story began when I opened the front door of home when I was five years old, and found Wilt Chamberlain on my doorstep. Despite spending time in an orphanage and my family struggling with poverty, I earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas, then was drafted to the NBA.

But I couldn’t read.

At age 57 I earned a master’s degree, graduating magna cum laude.

Here are some of the questions I answer in my interview:

    • Why did you want to write this book and share your story with the world?
    • Were you concerned about your difficulties with reading while growing up? When did the concern crystalize for you?
    • You dealt with a tremendous amount in life. What kept you going through the difficult times? Where does that resilience come from?
    • Along the way, there were a few figures that reached you in life: Frank Broyles, your former coach and the legendary athletic director at Arkansas. Marcia Harriell, who tutored you when you returned to school. Why were they able to reach you?
    • What advice do you have for students who are struggling?
    • How has education changed your life?
    • Who was the best player you played with?
    • What does your career mean to you, looking back from this vantage point in life?
    • What will committing to pursue education do for people?
    • How do you feel about being here, able to tell your story?

Click here to see the complete interview: Q&A: Ex-NBA player Dean Tolson on overcoming illiteracy, his career and more

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POWER FORWARD: My Journey from Illiterate NBA Player to a Magna Cum Laude Master’s Degree

Author: Dean Tolson with Lindsay Harrison
Publisher: Lyons Press
Release Date: October 1, 2023
Details: Hardcover / 240 pages / $28.95
ISBN: 978-1493076895

Click here to Buy the Book

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