Monday, May 18, 2009
One Day Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp
As I was growing up in Encino I had a core set of values that permeated my character. I worked hard, I studied hard, I was loyal and honest, and I was disciplined. Those values contributed to my enjoying a wonderful experience as a student athlete.
Upon graduating from USC, I entered the world of money management As a stockbroker, I lost my way. The values that characterized my adolescence yielded to the power of the dollar. I pursued commissions with a focus that blinded me at times to the type of person I was becoming.
In my book Lessons From Prison, I contrast the choices I made with those of my close friend, Brad Fullmer. I admire Brad for the work ethic that drove him. Following high school, he was drafted in the second round by the Montreal Expos. We stayed close through the many years he played and we are still close now. One of the virtues I admired most in Brad was his total commitment to his fans and his career. He worked as hard during the off season as he did when he was slugging through the 162 games of baseball. I understand that few people live with the type of discipline that Brad embodied. Unfortunately, many lose their way, as I did. In the months to come, I intend to speak with students from across the Los Angeles area with hopes of inspiring them to lead value-centered lives. Brad has agreed to join me on some of those speaking engagements to help contrast his life of discipline with the consequences that followed my poor choices.
While we were growing up together, Eric Sondheimer, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, covered the young athletic careers of Brad and me. He wrote about high school athletes, and we had the privilege of making his acquaintance while he covered us at Montclair Prep. I know that Eric has many relationships with high school administrators and it is my hope that will help open some doors for Brad and I to speak.
Tomorrow is my last full day at Taft Camp. I’m enthusiastic to bring this phase of my journey to an end. I will eagerly work to contribute to the lives of others, and show all of the lessons I’ve learned from prison.