Few stories are more inspiring than those about men or women, who having been seemingly endowed with nothing that will stand them a chance of achieving a normal life, not to mention greatness, hustled their way through to the very top in spite of all the odds. It is all the more inspiring if they were able to achieve such in sports - we all know how greatly the cards are stacked in favor of those with wealth in this field. These are some of Rovo's picks of the best rag-to-riches stories in the world of sports, which we believe will inspire you as much as they inspired us.
Jadeveon Clowney's childhood is one we could describe as pure hardship. His father began a 12-year prison sentence for robbing a check-cashing business when Clowney was just a small child, and consequently his mother had to work as a low-paying technician in a factory to support the family. When he was still a child, Clowney would remind her mother whenever he saw her come back from the factory exhausted, that one day he was going to make enough money to make it possible for her to quit. Clowney’s NFL naiden contract was estimated to have earned him more than $22 million, along with a signing bonus of $14 million. His first words after getting the contract? “Mom, you can quit now.”
Before he became a Filipino national hero, this boxing legend endured an unenviable childhood on the streets of Kibawe, wallowing in dire poverty. He was born into an economically unsustainable family of six children. The depth of the poverty endured by Manny could be seen by how Pacquiao’s father ate the family dog out of desperation. Pacquiao ran away from home (reportedly as a result of this incident), and lived on the streets, selling bread and doughnuts for a living. He often got into fights with vendors and other children who interfered with his business, and a fateful path was forged from there.
This basketball legend suffered in his early years a family both poor and dysfunctional. Things were wrong from the very start, having been born to a 16-year old mother. His only father figure was not around much, given his multiple arrests charges of drug abuse and fraud, while his mother struggled to find steady work. He moved around multiple homes in rough neighborhoods until finally settling in with a adequately stable family, who introduced him to basketball when he was nine.
Before having an illustrious golf career that will see his net worth reach $40 million at the end of it, Lee was simply a poorly-raised boy forced to do odd jobs for survival. Raised by a single mother and his grandfather - a grave-digger - Lee Trevino started working in cotton fields of Texas at age of 5. On top of that, he shined shoes and worked various odd jobs on the street to help support his family throughout his childhood. At the age of 14, he began working as a golf caddy, and was introduced to the game at the same time. In fact he often practiced after work by hitting at least 300 balls on the short holes behind the shack. Things rolled on for Lee from there.
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