The All-Star: from homeless to NBA champion

The All-Star: from homeless to NBA champion

Cameron Richards, Reporter

The year is 2023 and the Cleveland Cavaliers have NBA finals against the Utah Jazz in a game seven special with super-star point guard Javon Wilson draining the game winning buzzer beater.

After the game, a reporter went into the locker room and asked Javon, “How did you get to this point in your career?”

He answered, “It’s a long story…”


It was 2015 in a rough Chicago neighborhood and I was walking down the street with my cousin who was my caregiver because both of my parents sadly passed away a few years ago from gun violence. A dark, shadowy vehicle rolled down the road, then I heard a loud bang. Yet another family gone from gun violence.

I was homeless for a few years trying to find my way in life.  So I had to work my hardest for those who I lost. I woke up at 6:00 am every morning to go to the local park and work on my basketball skills. I worked so hard every day and eventually I got a scholarship from Duke University to play basketball for them.

In my sophomore year in college, we were playing the Kansas Jayhawks. As I was going up for a lay-up, I felt my knee pop and I went down with agonizing pain in my right knee. I thought my basketball career would be over. I rehabbed almost every day to get back to play at my full strength.

I came back to the court in my junior year and no one could stop us. I was averaging 23.4 points and 7.8 assists a game. We made it all the way to the national championship and we were playing the Kansas Jayhawks; I had to get a comeback story.

It was a close game until five minutes left in the game. My teammate Kayvon Jackson drove the hoop, then threw me the ball in the corner, and I splashed a three right in the defenders face. That was only three of my 21 points I got that quarter. They were driving down the floor and I got a steal and hit a wide open three. As the ayhawks were in-bounding a ball, I stole the pass and hit another three. I finished the game with 26 points, 7 threes, 8 assists, and won the national championship.

I declared for 2020 NBA Draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers had the No. 5 pick and selected me.


“So I’m truly blessed to be in this situation after all the things I’ve been through,” Wilson told the reporter. “What got me to this point was the killer that killed my cousin because he gave me so much motivation to work so I can make my cousin, my mom, and dad proud.”