Phil Ford, arguably the greatest point guard to ever play in the ACC, faced a daunting challenge as a young boy growing up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He was too small – to jump up and touch the rim or dunk like the bigger players he idolized.
So Phil decided he would learn to do other things better than every other player, no matter their size. And he did, mastering the arts of dribbling, passing and shooting and one signature move that no other high school player could duplicate – the driving, 360-degree spin.
A new children’s book has come out about Phil, appropriately titled The Kid Who Couldn’t Dunk – The Phil Ford Story, with tips from Phil about being your best .
Phil tells about not being able to dunk (he never could and still can’t!) but using that disappointment as an inspiration to learn other basketball skills that were good enough to land him at the University of North Carolina, where he was a three-time All-American and ACC Player of the Year under Coach Dean Smith.
The book is geared to ‘grade schoolers’ but is a story that can inspire athletes and adults of all ages. Told to author Art Chansky with color illustrations by Mark Dubowski of The News & Observer, copies of The Kid Who Couldn’t Dunk — all signed by Phil — are now for sale at Cameron’s, Chapel Hill Sportswear, Flyleaf Books, Shrunken Head, Sutton’s Drugstore and Carolina Corner in University Place.