Skate Dreams vs. Hoop Dreams

Ishod Wair grew up in Bordentown, N.J., and in order for him to have a life on his skateboard he had to push past a potential life on the basketball courts.

Wair was constantly pushed to pursue basketball and for good reason. Wair is an amazing player and a childhood friend’s father recalls the days when the kids would avoid the courts whenever out skating. Why? Because if Wair’s friends saw him they would take his skateboard force him to play.

Growing up Wair’s parents also played a key role in which path he would take. His father, for example, continued to encourage a life of basketball. His mother, however, took a different approach.

“I believe it is my duty as a parent to find their gifts and cultivate that. You should let your kids tell you what they want to do,” said his mother, Ann. She asked if he wanted to play basketball in high school, he said no. He wanted to skate, so that is exactly what she encouraged.

Around the age of 12 is when Wair’s friends remember him standing out from the group and starting to get really good. By 15 he and his friends began taking the train into the city of Philly where they would skate all day long all across the city. Wair was on the path of a professional skater but still had a long way to go.

— Skyler Wilder