NBA Star Chris Bosh: “Everyone Should Learn to Code”

Major props to Chris Bosh for writing this piece in Wired about the importance of computer programming/coding in his life:

For most athletes, the sport they end up turning into a career was decided in school. For me it all started in high school. This is where it all happens. On one end, you are growing fast and becoming very good at sports, on the other end grownups all around you say you need to try out different things, to discover your likes and dislikes, you need a plan. It’s a lot of pressure for that age.

Despite knowing my highly decorated jersey hung in Lincoln High’s gymnasium I knew well before I was in the NBA that to feel secure with my future — our future, really — I would need to be able to manipulate those 1s and 0s. Luckily, having extremely geeky parents that were constantly testing gadgets and flashing mad AutoCAD skills helped push my hands towards a keyboard and learning to code when they weren’t palming a basketball or blocking an opponent.

For as far back as I can remember, my mom had a business called Computer Help. So I pretty much grew up around computers. Later on, she worked for Texas Instrument. We used to come back home after school and my mom would bring all these new TI gadgets for us to test and play around with; I still remember the first digital cameras! When people were still using AutoCAD, my dad did professional plumbing, engineering, and designing for a couple different companies.

I’m lucky because my parents held us to a very high standard when it comes to education, and they were very science driven. In high school I joined a club called Wizkids, a computer graphics club for two years. I always felt like I was in my element, my environment there. I also joined the Association of Minority Engineers and NSBE the National Society of Black Engineers during my senior year.

Bosh spent a year at Georgia Tech before he declared for the NBA draft, so this story hits a bit closer to home (having graduated from Georgia Tech).

Love his philosophy:

I’m the Miami Heat player with “1” on my team jersey back. For me winning isn’t “winning” — it’s 01110111 01101001 01101110 01101110 01101001 01101110 01100111 (that’s W-I-N-N-I-N-G in binary code).


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