If there's anyone who knows what it's like to rise above adversity and shine it's Troy Daniels. The Roanoke native made a name for himself after a memorable performance in last year's NBA playoffs. That after being released twice and questioning if he could make it. Friday afternoon he shared his story of triumph to those who needed to hear it.
Daniels knew his goal was to play in the NBA and made it happen. After graduating Virginia Commonwealth University and being a standout on the basketball team, he went undrafted to go to the next level. He latched on with the Charlotte Bobcats but was cut twice; first by Charlotte, then the Houston Rockets. But Houston gave him a second chance and he impressed in the NBA developmental league. Then in game 3 of the Rockets' playoff series against the Portland Trailblazers, he hit the game-winning three pointer. He now simply calls it, "the big shot."
"Don't ever give up," he says. "That's my message to the kids. Just follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it."
That message was heard by kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia. Perseverance, dedication and confidence are what he says are necessary to achieve even the greatest of dreams.
"You can do [it!] But it all starts today," he told them. "It starts in school. I wasn't supposed to graduate when I was in high school."
Last month, Daniels signed a multi-year contract with Houston and he says he still feels like he has something to prove this upcoming season. The William Fleming graduate's words mirrored a coaches pep talk with a lesson about never settling.
"People fail all the time and people let that control them and he didn't," said student Tavia Sturgill.
"I wanna be an MLB player and to see him come from Roanoke, Virginia to the NBA, that just let's me know that I can do it," said Devin Barber.
"I'm going to tell everybody to keep trying and you can live your dream," pronounced Anthony Moore.
That's because Daniels gives them the proof.