Airborne: The Damon Stoudamire Story
Bob Forsey is the education officer at the Newfoundland Museum in St.
Airborne profiles two men—one a player, the other a general
manager—at the start of their careers in the National Basketball
Hall of Famer and Toronto Raptors’ General Manager Isiah Thomas
drafted Damon Stoudamire and taught him how to win. In the introduction,
Thomas describes how he saw in Stoudamire the skills and character
traits essential to professional success. Stoudamire’s work ethic, his
focus on winning, and his willing to make sacrifices were qualities that
inspired Thomas to make him the cornerstone of the franchise.
Toronto Star reporter and author Doug Smith traces Stoudamire’s
career from its beginnings at Wilson High School in Oregon, where he was
an All-American, to his success at the University of Arizona. In his
first professional season, he established himself by scoring 26 points
in his second game. Thomas built upon Stoudamire’s natural skills by
teaching him the tricks of the pro game (legal and illegal) that he
regarded as a must for winning in the NBA. Stoudamire’s drive to
become a star, make the playoffs, and win a title, was matched only by
Thomas’s drive to become a majority owner and win a title. Smith’s
interesting account of these two figures demonstrates that access to the
U.S. markets via the major television networks is essential to obtaining
major endorsements, and that playing with a winning team is just as
essential to securing superstar status.