Mick McCabe of the Detroit Free Press wrote an awesome story for Mother’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, especially my own – about former Piston Earl Cureton honoring a promise to his mother and earning his degree from Detroit Mercy:
Over the years Witkowski had Cureton in several classes and enjoyed how he would share his life experiences with classmates.
"Earl is inquisitive, he loves to learn and he came back with a real passion to finish his degree," Witkowski said. "He was a joy to have because he had a lot of experience from the streets in Detroit growing up and he had a lot to contribute to the young kids there who hear about stuff, but they didn’t live it."
That is precisely what occurred in Witkowski’s global justice class.
"We were going over the history of all the crimes and stuff that went down in Detroit," Cureton said. "I was like: ‘I’m studying this, but I lived through this.’ That’s what went on in my neighborhood when I was a kid."
Growing up in that environment prepared Cureton for his 12-year NBA career where persistence was a needed virtue.
"Just going over the way things have gone for me, it’s been a struggle pretty much my whole life," he said. "I played for seven different NBA teams. I never had a guaranteed contract. I never made the big money. I had to make the team every year. It was constant pressure through my whole career."