Jerry Lucas first gained acclaim as a standout basketball player. He was the first player ever to be a part of a national championship team on all 4 levels of competition - high school, college, the Olympics, and the NBA. Many experts still consider him the greatest college player of all time, and he is a member of the respective college and pro Hall’s of Fame. His basketball prowess was only an outward and high profile external manifestation of his inner pursuit of knowledge. His other outlets include teaching, preaching, writing, and speaking. The genesis of all his various accomplishments is his quest to learn, then apply that knowledge. This internal motivation compelled him to teach himself various methods that resulted in his success, and he has spent his life learning, and teaching, those methods to everyone he encounters.
For instance, consider rebounding a basketball. Lucas remains one of the most prodigious rebounders in history, and he attributes his success to his study of tendencies, patterns, and angles. Lucas mentally divided the circumference of the rim into small segments and then used deliberate, focused practice to determine the arc and trajectory of a rebound when it struck that particular part of the rim. Lucas learned, cataloged, and memorized every probability from every possible angle. Then, he applied his knowledge to a game setting and became the only pro player other than Wilt Chamberlain to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game in more than 1 season.
Lucas analyzed everything in his life with the same intensity and attention to detail. He gained renown as a world-class expert in memorization and could recite significant numbers from memory, for example entire phone books and entire textbooks, after a brief and cursory examination. He kept a running tabulation of every teammate and opponent’s statistics, in his head, because he wanted to discern patterns and adapt his future play based on a predictable past. It is certain that no player ever thought more about the game of basketball, nor gained more in-depth knowledge about how it is played.
A man of greatness devotes similar attention to detail. Pursue maximum knowledge in order to become a maximum man.
From September 2010, http://raising-a-man.tumblr.com