Although this is Joe Gently’s first year playing professional basketball, he knew he loved the game as a high school player growing up in New York City.
After basketball moved him to Mississippi for school, Gently begin to take basketball more seriously after realizing just how far it could take him in life.
Gently recalls he and his family having it quite rough growing up which is why his family motivates him the most. “Just thinking of my past and all the struggles we endured growing up makes me want to be there for them as they were for me because Lord knows we had it rough,” says Gently. “Life was not easy.”Although Gently is
new to the professional side of playing, like many athletes, injuries and doubters have been his toughest battles. One year while playing ball, Gently suffered a bad knee injury which caused many people, whom he thought were his friends and biggest supporters, to give up on him and disappear. Gently looked at this experience as a blessing in disguise that showed him who was serious about his journey and who was just along for the ride.
Due to hurdles such as this that Gently has effortlessly overcome, quitting is definitely not an option. “Before quitting, you must realize how far you’ve come and what you’ve come from,” says Gently, who lives by a quote an old coach of his once told him – “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
Influenced by close friends who are already in the NBA, Gently continues to perfect his craft, especially during the summers when he’s able to compete with his NBA friends as they each work to better themselves and each other.
Currently playing in Vila Velha, Brazil, Gently plans to return to his hometown of New York City once he’s done with his basketball career. He wishes to train younger New York City kids, improving their game, and being a role model to anyone who needs it.
Written by Erica Wright