Before becoming a 15-time NBA All-Star, Tim Duncan’s first love was in fact, not basketball! Growing up in the Virgin Islands, Duncan was an aspiring swimmer.
Duncan says he swam “5,000 to 8,000 meters a day, six days a week”. As a 13-year-old, Duncan made it his goal to make the 1992 Olympic swim team. Mother Nature, had other plans.
Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool in his hometown which resulted in him training in the ocean. Training for the Olympics is one thing, but swimming in the Caribbean is a challenge in itself. He then developed a fear of sharks and resorted to playing basketball. Duncan’s fear of sharks still haunts him to this day.
Luckily, despite Hurricane Hugo ruining what was then Duncan’s dream, he became one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history and made a whopping $242 million dollars throughout his career!