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The sound of the basketball slapping the floor echoed hollowly in the gym, as I began working it playfully with my hands. Planning my next move, I locked eyes with my opponent. I noticed small beads of sweat beginning to form in the furrow between his eyebrows. My heart was pounding, and my nerves tightened in response . . . but slowly a smile formed on my lips. Here I was, 5’8” Jesse LeBeau, going one on one with basketball superstar Kevin Durant . . . and I was making him sweat! As I started to make my move on him, I briefly wondered, "How did a skinny kid from a small town in Alaska ever get the chance to do this?" Here I was, involved in the filming of the 2012 Warner Brother's basketball movie Thunderstruck, playing against the NBA scoring champion! It shouldn't have happened. I didn't fit the profile and anyone would have told you that. But I did make it, despite the odds. And here is my story . . .
Growing up as an undersized white basketball player on a remote island in Alaska, Jesse had nearly every chip stacked against him. Yet despite his size and circumstances, he managed to rise above it all and make it to the big screen in Hollywood. With only the love of the game of basketball and the tenacity to follow a dream driving him, Jesse’s persistence has led him to star in national commercials and movies with some of the most recognizable celebrities and professional athletes in the world. More importantly, he found a way to tweak the system and alter his dream and get paid to do what he loves to . . . every day! Be inspired by his story and learn the keys to successfully creating a life that is uniquely yours.
The giants i fought against in my life were not just the physical players in the game, but also the obstacles i had to face each time i slid my feet into a pair of gym shoes and walked out onto the court. my lack of height, lack of bulk, and seeming lack of intimidating presence all fueled the dismissive bias i routinely faced when the competition took their first look at me. How i met that challenge, how i drove myself with a determination fueled by a love for the game of basketball, and where that has all ultimately led me is what this book is about.
i hope Among the Giants encourages you to:
• never give up on your dreams.
• never let the odds stacked against you make you a quitter.
• learn the lessons life gives you along the way.
• look for new opportunities and avenues in which to “tweak” your dreams and create something that is fresh and uniquely yours.
as you read the pages of this book, take a new look at yourself. you may have to face different giants than the ones that i struggled with, but you can still overcome your obstacles, just as i did. my greatest hope for you as you read my story is that you will have a new energy and desire to pursue your dreams with everything that’s in you. you, too, can create a life that you will love. when it’s all said and done, you just might find, as i have, a bigger and better dream than you started with . . .
Good luck! —Jesse
I grew up on a little island in Alaska called Pennock. On Pennock Island, there was no roads, stores or cars. It was just my house, surrounded by the woods filled with wild dogs, deer, and bears! Every day just to get to school I had to hop into my families boat and take it to town. All I wanted to do growing up was be a basketball player but I was always the smallest kid my age and people told me I would never be a basketball player. Now, basketball has allowed me to make a living by starring in commercials and movies and playing all over the world! I get to travel the country sharing my story and speaking at schools now.
What was your first book?
Among The Giants: How One Underdog Pursued His Dreams & You Can Too!
Describe your first break.
I don’t really believe in breaks. I think we need to take action and create our own success. For me that meant moving to Hollywood, learning how to do basketball tricks, finding an agent and then I started getting ‘breaks’ that allowed me to be in a lot of fun commercials and movies. Then I took action and wrote a book because I wanted to inspire young people to chase their dreams and then I got a ‘break’ and got a publisher. Taking action has created ‘breaks’ and allowed me to do some fun things.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I enjoy reading self-help books because I feel like there is always room for improvement in my life and I’m constantly wanting to be better.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Being able to have an impact on people all over the world is what excites me about being a writer. I want to change the world and writing books allows me to influence more people on a grand scale.
What is the worst thing?
Writing a book is a lot of work and it can be time consuming but when it’s all said and done it’s definitely worth it.
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
I have more books in me waiting to get out! My work is mean to inspire, motivate and equip young people with the tools necessary to be successful in life so that is what you can continue to expect from me.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person?
Cat. I know. But only if it acts like a dog.
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.
Back To The Future 1-3
Favorite vacation destination (you just have to want to go there)
Hapuna Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii!
*You can follow me online @JesseLeBeau and on my website www.JesseLeBeau.com
**If you want a FREE download from my book and from my DVD all you have to do is text the word “Giants” to 58885!
Over the course of the last couple years, Jesse has propelled himself from a small, alaskan fishing town to the Hollywood big screen, being seen by millions all over the world. By leveraging his love of the game of basketball and making the most of every opportunity, he has suc- cessful created a life all his own. at 5’8”, he may not be an nBa player, but by tweaking his dream, he has been able to use his passion (basketball) to star in national commercials and movies, work with pro athletes and celebrities, and even give back on a regular basis as a motivational speaker for youth. His un- derdog story, outlined in his book, Among the Giants, serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever been told they can’t make their dream a reality.
Jesse was born and raised on Pennock island, alaska, where his mother worked as a school teacher and his father was involved in the logging industry. Jesse played basketball growing up, but no one wanted to take him seriously, and coaches told him he was too small and would never make it. despite his critics, he believed not only in himself but also in the plan God had for him. Jesse has experienced big wins and frustrating losses, but both triumph and defeat helped him grow as a leader and a person, and helped deepen his faith.
Today, he uses his message to motivate and inspire young people around the world as a speaker and author. combining his love of basketball, speaking, and entertaining, Jesse founded the fab4 Takeover, which brings celebrities into schools to teach and impact students. He also released an instructional dribbling dVd titled Dribble Like a Star. for a free download from the dVd visit www.JesseleBeau.com or text the word ‘dVd ‘to the number 58885. you can find more information, read news in the press, watch highlight video foot- age, and follow Jesse on a more personal level at the following websites:
To purchase Among The Giants on Amazon visit: http://amzn.to/1gg7apn
To get a free download from his DVD visit: http://bit.ly/U9w32m
To get a free download from his eBook "What Allen Iverson Taught Me About Life" visit: www.JesseLeBeau.com