Brandon Bass, the 6-foot-8, 260-pound Boston Celtics power forward could go coast-to-coast on the hardwood but when it came to lapping a pool — he was the dunk. Ironically, a Bass who hated the water.
This week, Bass conquered a lifelong fear and climbed into the shallow end of a city pool with 10 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Boston to take their first swimming lesson. He has vowed to continue taking plunges until he is confident enough to swim on his own.
"My son’s the first one in the family to learn how to swim," says Bass, who is now in his third season with the Celtics.
"If you threw me out in the ocean, I would drown."
"I’m nervous, because I don’t know how to float," he told the Boston Globe, "I can’t tread water."
Bass hopes his desire to learn swimming well into adulthood will encourage more young and old people to learn the ability. And from the cheers and encouragement of the kids in his class — it's sounds like he's already done so.
Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there was no place for Bass to learn to swim and he remembers a tragic drowning of young neighbor his own age back then.
He feels that as the man of the house he needs to learn to swim. He says he believes other parents should learn, too, and encourage their children.
"Even if you don’t want to swim," he said. "It’s important to learn in case you need to."
Way to go Brandon.