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It cuts to him delivering his acceptance speech. Then it seamlessly transitions to a montage of Baylor students and alumni speaking Robert III’s words while in different work settings.

Robert Jr. called his son when he first saw it. Here was Baylor University using his son’s words as a way to inspire and attract others.

“It’s so powerful,” Robert Jr. said. “We had to sit there and say, ‘Wow,’ because Robert at Baylor for four years was a, ‘Wow,’ the impression that he left there.”

Men with a mission

Welch knew what to expect every afternoon when he went out to football practice while Robert III was the quarterback there. Jacqueline Griffin would be sitting in a chair on a cement slab near the field. She’d have an umbrella to shield her from the sun, a book to keep her stimulated and a video camera to record practice.

Video analysis was an essential element of how Robert Jr. trained his son to become one of the best athletes in the country. The process started when Robert III was 11 and basketball was his love.

One day, he told his dad he wanted to be better than Michael Jordan. As in, the greatest basketball player ever.

Robert Jr. pressed him. If that were indeed the case, if that’s what his son really wanted, then they could map out a plan to make it reality.

Robert Jr. already knew his son was athletically gifted and was especially adept at absorbing information. As a Christian man, he believed it was his duty to God to do whatever he could to draw those talents out.

And so Robert Jr. attacked this challenge as an army would an objective. He preached to his son the importance of dribbling with his left hand. On their first day of training, Robert III returned home crying after an hour of left-handed dribbling drills.

He was upset because the new skill did not come easily, not because he despised the work. Ultimately, he respected his dad’s direction with the understanding it spawned from love and support.

“From about 11 to 15 there was no butting heads or any arguments,” Robert III said. “It was more, Dad said do it; I’m going to do it because I want to be the best.”

And that’s what held their relationship together throughout all the rigorous training sessions.

When Robert III would tie one end of a rope around his waist and the other end around a tire and repeatedly pull it up the hill near their house while his dad timed him, he did it because he wanted to.

“I wasn’t a rebel,” Robert III said. “It kind of clicked in my head, like, if I want to do this, I can go out and do it. Some kids, it clicks for them, and it doesn’t work out. But thank God for me it did work out. I put in all those hard hours of work, and it has gotten me to where I am.”

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