VIDEO: Magic Guard shares his life story as part of a local youth mentorship program Orlando Magic guard Devin Cannady spoke with a group of local kids this week as part of an eight-week summer mentorship program. (WFTV.com/WFTV Press Team)
ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Magic guard Devin Cannady spoke with a group of local kids this week as part of an eight-week summer mentorship program.
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This is the second year the Magic has partnered with PepsiCo’s “Pepsi Stronger Together” campaign and the “Close the Gap” foundation to “provide valuable leadership and life lessons.”
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Cannady attended Monday’s session of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida summer program where he participated in a question and answer session, sharing his inspirational story of his life of perseverance.
“We had a great program today where the kids were vulnerable and asking questions,” Cannady explained. “I was able to tell my story, share how unique my story was, but how it relates to exactly what everyone is going through.”
Cannady spoke to the kids about the lows he felt when he was cut from a junior all-star team. Instead of giving up, Cannady says he not only made the team the following year, but became its most valuable player.
The Indiana native went on to explain how he dreamed of playing basketball for Notre Dame but failed to get recruited to any of the major universities. Instead, he went to the prestigious Princeton University where he says he grew as a person and as a player over a four-year career.
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Finally, after not hearing his name called on draft night in 2019, Cannady detailed how he fought in the NBA G-League for three seasons and then suffered a horrific ankle injury shortly after. long after his time with the Magic.
Less than a year later, Cannady would be back on Magic’s roster on a 10-day deal that was stretched to a two-year deal in the 2022 offseason.
“Going through these things shaped me and helped me grow along the way,” Cannady said. “I don’t think I would be the person I am today without the setbacks, without the obstacles.”
Ultimately, Cannady says it’s about running his own race, which he says has been a motto of his life.
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“I found strength in that sentence, knowing that everyone’s journey is different,” Cannady said. “I’m not the guy who got drafted 30th, let alone one. Many of my mentors in the past have talked about not letting outside noise cloud your judgment, whether it’s making financial decisions, whether in your own career or in your life. So, that’s where “manage your own race” comes from. … It’s been the foundation of my belief system ever since.
To learn more about the Close the Gap Foundation, click here.
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