Former NBA Athlete Delonte West Could Use Serious Help Before It’s Too Late

Athletes | 1/24/20

“I’ve never shared this like this,” Delonte West said. The rise and fall of former NBA athlete West isn’t a pretty one, nor is it anything his peers or loved ones want to see. One might ask the question, “Well, why isn’t anyone helping him?” The NBA would receive tons of backlash if they hadn’t already attempted to provide some assistance to West. The real inquiry is, how do you support West? While there isn’t a direct answer to that, knowing how he fell so deep into the abyss is one way to learn how to start providing him with the proper attention he needs.

The West Story

the player on the bench
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, has had plenty of talented players grace the court. From “The Big Ticket,” Kevin Garnett, to Kyrie Irving and Ray Allen, the Celtic faithful have had the pleasure of seeing some special players over the years.

Perhaps none of them have been as unique as West. More talented, yes, but everything surrounding the player, including that patented birthmark on his lip to the wild rumors of what he reportedly did with a teammate’s mother, make West as intriguing as they come.

A Harsh Reality For West

west can't keep eyes open
omicron/Reddit
omicron/Reddit

West’s professional career in the NBA would end after the 2011-12 season. After which he would make several attempts to play oversees. He spent two years abroad before returning to America in 2015 to try his hand at an NBA G League team, the Texas Legends. But that only lasted one season.

After some time away from the game that garnered him national attention, disturbing photos of the player surfaced on the web that depicted West as homeless and not all the way there mentally. It was sad, but former teammates spoke out about it.

Former Teammate Daniel Gibson Speaks On West

delonte west daniel gibson
King D-man/Pinterest
King D-man/Pinterest

Throughout his NBA career, West played for a handful of teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers. While in Cleveland, he teamed up with the likes of LeBron James and Daniel Gibson. While there was a considerable rumor involving West and another Cavs teammate, someone on the team noticed something “off” about West even then.

In a recent TMZ run-in, Gibson spilled the beans on what he noticed about West while they played together. “I do know when he was playing ball, he did have mental issues,” Gibson explained. Could this insight have anything to do with West’s tumultuous downfall?

The Hope Of Returning To The League…

Legends basketball delonte west
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images

During West’s time with the Texas Legends in 2015, he hoped to make an NBA comeback. It was one night after a game that West sat down at the Cheesecake Factory with plenty of optimism.

“I’m enjoying life,” he said. “Ain’t nobody going to take that from me no more. Yeah, I had that mistake. But that was five years ago. We gonna talk about it every time someone wants to talk to me?” What happened five years ago was a “rumor” at the time, but he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. West’s focus was on returning to the sport he loved.

Bullied In The Past

the younger delonte west
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

West had light skin and red hair growing up, which made him an easy target for taunts. Growing up in Prince George’s County, he heard the sounds of children laughing at him for years.

Thankfully, West had an outlet in basketball that would help him conquer the hatred and bullying from his psyche. “I took all that and put everything into basketball,” he said. “You can’t laugh at this on the court.” Still, relying on happiness from an outside source doesn’t always go as planned.

Beginning To Go Downhill

an injury
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

While he had basketball to help him with his woes, West’s living conditions weren’t the best by far. His family went from home to home, but they lived “happy-poor,” according to him. One day in the eighth grade, West hurt his leg badly enough to keep him from playing ball.

When this happened, he stopped going to school, so his mother sent him to live with his father. That’s when things went downhill as he started swallowing pills and cutting himself. The smallest of things would send him into this self-harm mode, like not getting the latest Jordan shoes.

Making Up His Mind With His Back Against The Wall

close up of delonte west
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Realistically, a person can only sustain so much pain before they let it take over or decide to act against it. For West, the future NBA player made up his mind one night in the children’s hospital after getting treated for one of his attempts at his life. He knew the NBA is where he needed to go.

His first thoughts were to end his life in his room that night, but instead, he dropped to his knees and prayed. In his prayer, he told God that if he survived that night and went on to play professionally, he’d be sure to glorify his name.

A High School Stand-Out

A healthy delonte
Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images
Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

After his prayer, the ball would start rolling in West’s favor. He enrolled at Eleanor Roosevelt High his sophomore year. Things went smoothly in high school, as he would eventually go on to become the Washington Post’s All-Met Player of the Year.

His JV coach, Glenn Farello, remembers a humbling moment from young West one day when Glenn was incredibly upset. “Coach, I’d like to apologize to you and all of my teammates. I feel I didn’t play to my capabilities tonight, and it’ll never happen again,” West told Farello. That was one thing Farello always noticed about West, that he was harder on himself more than anyone else could be.

College Days at Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Josephs
Rick Stewart/Getty ImagesI
Rick Stewart/Getty ImagesI

West would attend Saint Joseph’s University where he would become a star. West attended the school from 2001 to 2004 and formed what was the best backcourt in the country alongside Jameer Nelson.

West’s junior year saw him average 18.9 points, and 6.7 assists per game as he helped the team go 27-0 in the regular season. When March Madness arrived, the team made it to the Elite Eight and then West declared for the NBA draft.

The Start Of His NBA Career

delonte west
Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

While he flourished in college and high school, the NBA would prove to be different for West. With the 24th pick in the 2004 NBA draft, the Boston Celtics chose West, but his first season came with many injuries.

West would only see the court for a total of 39 games his rookie campaign, mostly coming off the bench. West picked up the slack in his following two seasons after coach Doc Rivers moved him from shooting guard to point guard. With the arrival of future Hall-of-Famer Rajon Rondo, the Celtics put their future in Rondo’s hands and shopped West to the SuperSonics.

Landing With LeBron James

Lebron James and West
Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

When the 2008-09 season came around, West found himself suiting up with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was there that he took on an important role in helping James reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

He provided a decent amount of scoring that helped the team succeed when it mattered most. In his first season with the team, they were a series away from reaching the NBA Finals. There was no doubt West felt he would have a long and flourishing career in the league.

West’s First Time Admitting His Mental Woes

delonte west
Rob Loud/Getty Images
Rob Loud/Getty Images

It was during a preseason game in 2008 when West acted out of character. He went off on a game official, which made him realize he needed to take a step back.

He would take a leave from the Cavs to seek counseling and start taking medication. He also ended things with his first wife, only weeks after getting married. He felt a wave of heartache after that. “The ugly head started to show itself again,” West, then 25, told reporters when he returned to Cleveland. “It’s been haunting me my whole life, self-destructive behavior.”

James’ Mother Steps In

bron james
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The season ahead of LeBron James’ monumental decision to take his talents to South Beach (2009-10), a deadly rumor spread across the sports world. The rumor was that West had been sleeping with James’ mother, Gloria, for some time. Reports were that James found out before a pivotal playoff game, thus breaking the team chemistry.

The Cavs would end up losing to the Celtics that year, and James left his home to form a super team. All of this because of a nasty rumor? Well, it may not have been false, and this is when people began highly questioning the sanity of West.

Caught With Weapons On The Beltway

delonte West the NBA player
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On the night of September 17, 2009, a police officer pulled over West on Route 214 for an improper lane change as he rode his three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. When the cop approached West, he informed him that he had firearms on him.

On his waistband was as Beretta 9mm, a Ruger .357 magnum was on his leg, and a shotgun was inside a guitar case slung over his back. All of the weapons were loaded too.

The NBA Lockout And Reverting To Old Ways

Delonte West sitting down
Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The NBA had a lockout in 2011, which further pushed West to the edge. That’s when he applied to work at Home Depot and even worked at a Brandywine furniture store for a while.

On Twitter, West tweeted obscure jokes such as, “Broke down in the ATM line,” he tweeted one day. “25 cars behind me, and I already reached my daily limit… I’m broke [and] my cars broke. Where’s my therapist???” West later admitted he “heard the laughter again” like when he was younger. He began going back to the destructive way of living.

One Last Chance With The Mavericks

delonte west on the ground
Harry How/Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks would end up being the last NBA team to give West a shot. The stint would last less than a year during the 2011-12 season, as he ended up getting suspended two times.

The Mavericks waived him after the second suspension, but West still paid close attention to the team due to having an apartment overlooking the stadium. He would sadly watch from his balcony. “I cried every day, stopped eating,” he said. “I felt I was so close. There was this perception of me because of one bad decision I made in Cleveland — I felt I was on the cusp of people letting it go.”

Proposing With A Jumprope

son and wife
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images

As he was close to “letting it go,” West found love amid the darkness. He met Caressa Madden, and the two became inseparable as they moved in together in West’s million-dollar home in Fort Washington.

One winter, West’s funds grew limited, and he couldn’t even afford to fix the furnace. He had to boil water to give to Caressa (who was pregnant) a hot bath. That’s also when he proposed to her by cutting off a piece of jump rope and tying it around her finger. “I’m broke, heat ain’t working, brain ain’t working right, but I love you,” West recalls saying.

Roaming Around Texas In A Hospital Gown

can't keep eyes open
bmarshall/Instagram
bmarshall/Instagram

After some years overseas, West returned to America, but no one kept tabs on the former NBA player. In 2016, photos surfaced of West roaming around Houston barefoot, only wearing a hospital robe.

TMZ reported that a fan asked, “Are you Delonte West?” to which he responded, “I used to be, but I’m not about that life anymore.” Sadly, this wouldn’t be the first time West gets pictured looking completely distraught and out of it. Later that year, another photo hit the web showcasing West panhandling in Maryland.

Those Close Tried Helping

delonte west in a suit
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Michael Mulvey for The Washington Post via Getty Images

When people see anyone in poor condition, that should trigger those close to that person to help. It’s not like people saw West and didn’t try helping the basketball player. The NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) has also provided a helping hand.

“[Danny] Ainge and the Celtics have given him a scouting job to go to games in the D.C. and greater East Coast region, sources said, but West has had mixed results due to fluctuating attendance,” Shams Charania for The Athletic wrote. “His close friends and family have all stepped in whenever they could.”

West Gets Beaten Up In The Streets

poor condition of Delonte West
YourEXTRA/YouTube
YourEXTRA/YouTube

In a video that began circulating on the web on January 20, 2020, viewers get a glimpse into where West’s life is currently. The footage shows him screaming, shirtless, and getting beat up in the middle of the street.

Sources later revealed that West instigated the fight in Washington, D.C., with a glass bottle attack. Still, the images hurt players in the NBA community and fans around the nation. While others have attempted helping West, perhaps his bipolar disorder and drug usage are too powerful to overcome. As far as what the future holds for West, there’s no telling, but those close to him hope he finds solace before it gets too late.

Tiger Woods Has Reached The Highest Highs And Overcome The Lowest Lows

worth a lot of money
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Wood’s rise to superstardom was meteoric. He was only 15-years-old when he won his first Majors tournament. From there, he rose through the ranks, becoming the face of the sport and the apple of the media’s eye although his life was in shambles at one point.

As of 2019, Tiger Woods has an estimated net worth of $800 million. With his near billion dollars in the bank, Woods is tied with author James Patterson for number nine on Forbes annual list. If he was worth just $25 million more, he’s have found himself tied with rapper and entrepreneur Diddy.

The Big Comeback

The Big Comeback
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

On April 14, 2019, Tiger Woods did something no one thought he would ever do again; win the Masters at Augusta. The big comeback victory netted the formerly down and out Woods over $2 million! The celebration began as soon as he sunk his final putt.

The scene was one 22 years in the making. To cap things off, Woods embraced his son in the same spot at Augusta that his own father hugged him after his first win all those years ago.

Origins Of His Nickname

Origins Of His Nickname
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Eldrick Tont Woods’ parents met in Thailand when Earl, his father, was touring Thailand in 1968. When he met Kutilda, it was love at first sight. She is of Chinese, Thai, and Dutch ancestry in contrast to Earl’s African American background.

Tiger says that this mixed blood makes him “Cabilansian” (a combination of Caucasian, Black, American Indian and Asian). His nickname “Tiger” was given to him by a friend of his father, Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who was also called Tiger by his friends.

A Quick Start to His Career

003-a-quick-start-to-his-career-2574200-79841
YouTube
YouTube

Tiger Woods grew up in Orange County, California. His father, who was a single-handicap golfer in his own right, was determined that he be given the opportunity to hit the golf course as early as possible. Tiger picked up his first golf club at the age of two, and with free access to the Navy’s golf course, his game quickly matured.

Woods was just three-years-old when he appeared on The Mike Douglas Show and competed against the legendary Bob Hope on the putting green. He also shot 48 over 8 holes on the Navy course that year.

His First Tournament Loss Was to John Daly

His First Tournament Loss Was to John Daly
Phil Inglis/Getty Images
Phil Inglis/Getty Images

Earl found himself outplayed by his son for the first time when Tiger turned 11. Woods would break 70 for the first time when he turned 12. He attended his first major junior tournament at the age of 13.

He faced off against John Daly at the end of the Big I in 1989. Daly very nearly lost to Woods. It took four birdies on the final four holes for him to win by a single stroke. When Woods was 15, he became the youngest ever U.S. Junior Amateur Champion.

School, Golf, and College

School, Golf, and College
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tiger Woods was a stutterer and has said that his school days were something of a nightmare. He famously reached out to a boy contemplating suicide to explain his own problems with not fitting in at school. Despite his problems, his high school classmates voted him “most likely to succeed.” He was snapped up by Stanford University on a golf scholarship to study an economics major.

At 19-years-old, after winning Stanford’s Male Freshman of the Year award, Tiger Woods took part in his first PGA Tour major; the 1995 Masters. Tiger placed 41st and was the only amateur to make the cut.

The Transition to Professional Golfer

transition
J.D. Cuban/Allsport
J.D. Cuban/Allsport

At 20-years-old, Tiger Woods became the first golfer in history to win three consecutive U.S. Amateur titles. Before turning pro, he dropped out of Stanford and moved out of California to a state with lower taxes.

Woods began his professional career in style. In August 1996, before he had even swung a club, he had the two largest endorsement contracts in golf signed with Nike and Titleist. He also picked up the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award. Then things really began to pick up.

World Number One

World Number One
Sam Greenwood/PGA TOUR Archive
Sam Greenwood/PGA TOUR Archive

In April of 1997, Tiger Woods won his first major event; the U.S. Masters. He was 21 and the youngest player ever to win. By June, Woods had achieved what many thought would take him much longer – he was the number one ranked golfer in the world. It was the fastest time for any player in history to gain the top spot after turning professional.

In 1999, Woods won eight tournaments and the PGA Championship, a feat that hadn’t been achieved for a quarter of a century.

The Greatest Performance in Golf History

The Greatest Performance in Golf History
David Cannon /Allsport
David Cannon /Allsport

As the century turned, the legend of Tiger Woods continued to grown. In 2000, he won six consecutive tournaments, something that hadn’t been done since Ben Hogan in 1948. When he won the U.S. Open that year, he broke nine tournament records, with Sports Illustrated calling it “the greatest performance in golf history.”

Woods then took the U.S. Open by an incredible 15 stroke margin and picked up a very cool $800,000 victory check. The next year he became the first golfer ever to hold all four major titles at the same time.

His First Career Slump

His First Career Slump
Danny Gohlke/Bongarts/Getty Images
Danny Gohlke/Bongarts/Getty Images

Tiger Woods dominated golf for another year, but by the end of 2002, his numbers were beginning to sag. The next two years brought no majors titles to Woods’ trophy cabinet, and he lost his World Number 1 position to Vijay Singh.

Miraculously, Tiger was back to his winning ways in 2005. He won six PGA Tour events that year and recaptured the Number One slot from Singh before June. As sweet as his refound success was, his personal life would begin to suffer in ways he never expected.

Tragedy Strikes

Tragedy Strikes
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Tiger’s golf game was off to a great start in 2006. When tragedy struck. Earl, arguably his biggest supporter, died in May. He had been everything to Tiger Woods. His first golf coach, his sports psychologist, his friend, his mentor, and much more.

Tiger took nine weeks off following his father’s passing, and he admitted that he came very close to walking away from the game. When he returned, he looked more resilient then ever, and capped off the with six consecutive tour even wins.

A Minor Bump in the Road

A Minor Bump in the Road
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

By the time 2008 rolled around, 11 years of professional golf began taking a toll on Tiger Woods. He looked as good as ever until April when, when he was forced to undergo knee surgery.

On his return from the surgery, Woods looked to be having real problems getting into his game. After winning the U.S. Open on the final day, his body gave up on him. Tiger announced that his knee surgery had caused severe complications, and he dropped out of the rest of that year’s golf.

Marital Problem Became Public Knowledge

Marital
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Part of Woods’ appeal to sponsors wasn’t just his ability to play golf, it was also his clean-cut “all-American” image, which was about to become severely tarnished. In 2004, Tiger Woods married Elin Nordegren. To the outside world looking in, it was the perfect marriage.

In November 2009, The National Enquirer alleged that Woods had been cheating on his wife with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel. Both Tiger and Rachel strongly denied this claim when it was revealed.

Things Go From Bad To Worse

Things Go From Bad to Worse
Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images
Florida Highway Patrol via Getty Images

On November 27, 2009, Tiger Woods left his home and went for a drive in a Cadillac Escalade SUV. He barely made it out of his driveway when his car collided with a fire hydrant, a tree, and some of his neighbor’s hedges.

An ambulance was called, and he was treated for facial cuts and was issued a ticket by police for careless driving. Woods issued a statement insisting this was a private matter and withdrew from all tournaments to the end of the year.

A Hard Fall From Grace

A Hard Fall from Grace
Craig Jones/Getty Images
Craig Jones/Getty Images

One month after his car crash, LA Weekly ran a piece alleging that they had proof of another affair that Tiger Woods was having. He had no choice but to come clean, releasing a statement admitting to “transgressions” in his marriage. He apologized to everyone involved and he asked for privacy.

A few days later, he announced an indefinite break from playing golf. Following the statement, most of Tiger’s major sponsors ended their contracts. Only Nike staying loyal to him.

An Expensive Time For Tiger And The Sponsors

An Expensive Time for Tiger and the Sponsors
Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images
Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Tiger Woods may have lost a ton of money in sponsorship deals. It’s estimated that his personal problems cost company shareholders between $5 billion and $12 billion in lost revenues.

Woods entered therapy to clean up his act, and in 2010 announced his return and apologized to everyone again. He also said that he would pick up his clubs for the first time in 2010 at the Masters Tournament. Shortly after the announcement, Woods’ divorce from Elin Nordegren was finalized.

A Poor Start

A Poor Start
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Tiger Woods tied for fourth place in the Masters in 2010, but otherwise failed to win a single professional event that year. He did finish the year as world number two, but slumped to world number seven as 2011 got underway.

Tiger attributed his decline to his old knee injury. In July, however he fired Steve Williams, his long-standing friend and caddy. Steve would express deep shock at being treated like this. Steve’s replacement, Bryon Belt, didn’t achieve the results Tiger expected. By August, Woods had slipped to 58th in the world ranking’s table.

Things Could Only Get Better

Things Could Only Get Better
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods struggled throughout 2012 with his injury, but managed to pick up some tour wins. With wins continuing to pile up, it suddenly looked like Woods might be catch up to the sports winningest golfer; Sam Snead.

The year 2013 was an up and down year for Woods. At the U.S. Masters, Woods took an illegal drop. He was found guilty, but he was not disqualified from the tournament. Things improved when He broke his own record with the fastest four successive victories in PGA events of any golfer in history. This was the second peak of Tiger’s career.

Back Problems and Sporting Injuries

Back problems
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With his 2013 career peak, 2014 brought a deep valley. Tiger Woods won no majors and dropped out of the Honda Classic due to back pain. He later found himself in a hospital rather than at the Masters due to the need for a microdiscectomy to treat a herniated disc in his spine.

Woods did return to the greens, but his game was clearly impacted by the back problems. He failed to make the cut for the 2014 PGA Championship after a year without a decent showing.

On-Course Failure

On-Course Failure
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Tiger Woods’ back problems were blamed for his failure to make the cut for both the Open and the U.S. Open tournaments. And even though he qualified for the Masters, he barely tied for 17th. He refused to blame his back, however, and instead admitted he was having hip problems.

He returned to the hospital for another microdiscectomy at the end of 2015. Woods would not play at all in 2016 until December. By March of 2017, he had announced that he would take time off his game as he “did not feel tournament ready.”

The Turning Point

The Turning Point
Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

In May 2017, Tiger Woods hit an all-time low. He was arrested for DUI after being found slumped at the wheel of his car. Other golfers supported Tiger, saying he had a bad reaction to prescription medicine.

After taking more time to himself, Tiger Woods came back in a big way in 2018. He finished in second place at the Valspar Championship in Florida. It was his first top five finish since 2013. He would finish in second again at the Masters, before finally putting the green jacket again in 2019.

He Wears Red Because Of His Mom

He Wears Red Because Of His Mom
David Cannon/Getty Images
David Cannon/Getty Images

The reason Tiger Woods loves the color red is because of his mother. She convinced him to start wearing red shirts early, believing it was his power color. Considering all the success he’s had in it, it’s hard to argue with that logic!

When Woods won the 2019 Masters and secured his big career comeback, his shirt was red. We can’t think of a single tournament he’s won wearing a different color. At the end of the day, athletes are incredibly superstitious, so why would Woods even consider wearing another color?

He Was Nicknamed “Urkel” At Stanford

He Was Nicknamed Urkel At Stanford
Rob Kim/Getty Images
Rob Kim/Getty Images

Before dropping out of Stanford, Tiger Woods was quite the bookworm. He was so studious that his classmates began calling him “Urkel,” referencing Steve Urkel from Family Matters. We’re sure it had nothing to do with his decision to drop out.

As you know, just because Woods left Stanford to pursue golf full-time, he remained glued to his books. The nickname might have left him, but his reputation as one of the smartest people around never has!

He Loves Fast Food

fast food
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Taco Bell
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Taco Bell

While most athletes treat their bodies like temples, Tiger Woods doesn’t. While he’s training we’r sure he sticks to a clean diet and routine schedule, but when he takes a break, he loves fast food.

For one of his Masters’ victory celebrations, Woods reportedly said no to more luxurious food in favor of cheeseburgers. He ate nine cheeseburgers! Woods has also admitted in past interviews that his favorite foods are McDonald’s and Taco Bell. There’s just something about that ground beef!

Video Games Were Good For Him

video games
YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

Don’t tell Tiger Woods that video games are bad. He claims that growing up playing them help him gain control over his hands and fingers. And when you’re holding the golf club ready to swing, nothing is more important than control.

That’s not the only way Woods claims video games helped him, however. He also says that losing at games and having to start over helped him overcome his fears of failure. He must have played a lot of Mario Golf growing up!

He Is Buddhist

He Is Buddhist
THEODORE LIM/AFP/Getty Images
THEODORE LIM/AFP/Getty Images

Tiger Woods grew up a Buddhist with his mother and father, and still practices today. There was a point in his life where he deviated from his path, and according to him it coincided with the fall from grace.

Now that Woods is fully committed to Buddhism again, the results have been stunning. His comeback started in 2018 and was completed in 2019. Now the question is his; how long will he stay on top?

He Is Not A Duel Citizen

He Is Not A Duel Citizen
Stanley Chou/Getty Images
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

With two parents from completely different countries, it would not be surprising to see Tiger Woods be a duel citizen of Thailand and the United States, but he’s not. His mother’s homeland has even offered him citizenship before.

In Woods’ mind, he is an American as true as they come. Give him a cheeseburger and golf club and he’s a happy man. Give him pad Thai and a golf club and who knows what might happen!

He Modernized Golf

He Modernized Golf
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When Tiger Woods broke onto the professional golf scene, the sport was stuck in the past. The greatest golfers were starting to get old, and new blood was needed. Woods provided that spark, and brought golf back to the masses.

Oddly enough, Woods might be doing the same thing today. While the sport is stuffed with bright young stars, television ratings have declined every year. Woods’ big win at the Masters turned the tides, providing the PGA with its best ratings in years!

Nike Named A Building After Him

Nike
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

If you remember from earlier, Nike was the only sponsor to stick with Tiger Woods during his downfall. The Oregon based company has made millions, maybe even billions of dollars off Woods’ name. To thank him, they named a building after him.

Of course, a building at Nike headquarters isn’t the only thing Woods’ has had named after him. He has his own line of video games and well as his own personal brand of clothing that he wears on the links.

He Invented The First Golf Watch

He Invented The First Golf Watch
Paul Kane/Getty Images
Paul Kane/Getty Images

Well, not exactly, but close. Before Tiger Woods came swinging, there was no such thing as a golf watch. But if runners and divers get watches, shouldn’t golfers, too? Thanks to his sponsorship deal with Tag Heuer, Woods was able give golfers what they wanted.

The special watch is able to absorb upwards of 5,000 Gs of force. A golf swing will never come close to producing that much force, making this watch nearly indestructible.

He Is A Billionaire

He Is A Billionaire
Carlos Marino/FilmMagic
Carlos Marino/FilmMagic

While Tiger Woods might not be worth one billion dollars today, he was in 2009. Literally breaking the bank turned Woods into the world’s first billion dollar athlete and made him the second richest African American in the United States.

With all that money comes a lot of unwanted attention, and Woods knows how to get away from it all. Would it shock you if we told you he owns a private yacht? To emphasize that sometimes he needs space to count his bills, Woods even named it “Privacy.”

His Foundation Helps Inner-City Youth

His Foundation Helps Inner-City Youth
Lester Cohen/Getty Images
Lester Cohen/Getty Images

A lot of wealthy people have charities, but how many of those people opened those foundations that same years they became household names. Tiger Woods did; his first year as a professional golfer he stared the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The goal of the foundation is to promote athletics within inner cities. And can you guess what sport the foundation focuses on? Unsurprisingly, the Tiger Woods Foundation uses golf as a way to show young people less than stellar situations that there is hope.

The Foundation Isn’t Just About Sports

The Foundation Isn't Just About Sports
Lester Cohen/Getty Images
Lester Cohen/Getty Images

As much as Tiger Woods loves golf, he also loves academics. That;s why the Tiger Woods Foundation provides college access programs as well as athletic enrichment programs. There are learning facilities located on five campuses in the United States.

Not every young person is the same. Where one loves sports and sees it as their future, another might see a more intellectual path. Tiger understands this, and refuses to limit the scope of his foundation, and, in turn how many lives it could affect.

He’s A Guinness World Record Holder

He's A Guinness World Record Holder
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

To date, Tiger Woods has set 17 different Guinness World Records. We’re not sure they’re in, but we’re assuming they are all golf related. Incredibly, Woods doesn’t even hold the most records for an athlete.

Heck, Tiger Woods doesn’t even hold the second most Guinness World Records for an athlete. The top two spots belong to Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, both of whom are wold renowned Olympians. With Phelps retired, though, there’s still a chance for Woods to move up on the list!

Tiger Woods Was Considered Too Good At Golf

Tiger Woods Was Considered Too Good At Golf
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

In his heyday, no one came close to Tiger Woods in competitions. He was a man among boys, and the PGA didn’t like that. At the time, they even considered “Tiger-proofing” the sports to keep young golfers interested.

To make courses more competitive, several locations increased their yardage. The most famous yardage increase came at Augusta, although it didn’t do much. Even at 43-years-old, Woods was able to play like a pro at the course, with his Masters win coming on the his last stroke.

Thirteen Years At Number One

Thirteen Years At Number One
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has spent a mind-boggling amount of time as the number one ranked golfer in the world. In his 20 plus year career, he as been alone at the top for 683 weeks. To put it into easier terms, that’s 13 years.

To go along with that feat, he has been named the PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times and has held the top ranking for the most consecutive weeks in history.

He’s Still Playing Catch Up To Jack Nicklaus

He's Still Playing Catch Up To Jack Nicklaus
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Make no mistake, Tiger Woods will go down in history as the greatest golfer to ever play, but that doesn’t mean he holds every record. With 15 Major wins under his belt, he still trails Jack Nicklaus by three.

When Nicklaus called it a career, he has won 18 Majors. Woods still has a chance to top that number, but it won’t be easy. Then again, if injuries hadn’t derailed part of his career, who knows how many Majors Woods would have won by now!

Fifteen Strokes

Fifteen Strokes
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen strokes is the number that Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open by. To many, his performance that day is considered the greatest in the history of the sport.

It’s also proof why the PGA felt the game needed to be “Tiger-proofed.” Fear that young golfers would lose interest were overstated. Studies showed that Woods incredible level of play actually brought more youth to the links and increased the level of solid play from his professional competitors.

Another Origin Of His Name

origin of name
David Cannon/Getty Images
David Cannon/Getty Images

While we already talked about one reason Eldrick Woods became named Tiger, here we are going to present you with another. While his father was serving in the military, he became close with e Vietnamese Colonel nicknamed Tiger.

When Eldrick was born, Earl felt it was his responsibility to honor his friend, and began calling his son Tiger. It’s clear to us that if this is the true story of the name “Tiger” that Woods has honored the name’s legacy incredibly well.

Money Has Never Been An Issue

Money
Dave Cannon /Allsport
Dave Cannon /Allsport

Unlike many professional athletes, Tiger Woods did not grow up poor. He started golfing at age two thanks to his father’s service in the Navy. When he was 20, however, the money really started flowing in.

Almost immediately after turning pro, Woods was bombarded with endorsement deals. He accepted major one from Nike and Titleist, which paid him around $60 million. While that amount of money wouldn’t sound like a lot to Tiger today, it was life changed in the mid ’90s!