Kevin Owens is a local guy. He’s from South Jersey and was a standout basketball player for Camden Catholic, then went on to play for Monmouth, where he got his ass totally kicked by Duke in the NCAA Tournament.
That’s his joke, not mine, and he tells it in his autobiography, titled Overseas Famous, the Travels and Tribulations of a Basketball Globetrotter. It’s a really good book that I recently finished, and Kevin takes us on a tour de planet Earth that touches on a really unique professional basketball career. He spent time in the D League, in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Kosovo, and Estonia, and he does a fantastic job articulating just how difficult and shitty it can be trying to navigate a world without guaranteed contracts, where you’re either playing in front of 10 people or hordes of crazy glass shard throwers in Pristina.
The best part about Kevin’s book is that he tells some absolutely fascinating stories about playing in foreign countries. In one chapter, he explains trying to play through a knee injury because he doesn’t want his Korean team to send him home without pay, but communication via a translator is near impossible.
In another chapter, he details a trip to the Kosovo All-Star game, where a handler accidentally puts diesel fuel into a van that needs regular gasoline. They end up stuck on a random road in the middle of nowhere:
The book is filled with stories like this, and some of them will make you laugh out loud. It was truly absurd to read about some of the crap that Kevin went through trying to make it as a great college player who was just below NBA level, and he even details the cup of coffee he had with the Sixers back in the day.
It’s a quality read, and recommended. If you’re a basketball junkie, or even just a local sports fan, it really provides a window into the not-so-glamorous life of athletes who ply their trade one level below the world’s biggest leagues. It’s entertaining and funny and well-written at the same time, and this link will take you to the purchase page.
disclaimer: I didn’t receive any kind of compensation to write this, I just thought it was a good book from a local guy and worth plugging. But if anybody ever wants to send me on a fancy junket, holla.