It takes a once-in-a-generation athlete to win a national championship as a quarterback for Florida State, reach the Elite Eight as a point guard for his school, and then go on to become a starting guard for the New York Knicks in an NBA Finals. Yes, Charlie Ward’s athletic accomplishments truly know no peer. Combine an eleven-year NBA career with a College Football Hall of Fame career and the portrait of a humble, magnanimous leader takes shape.
The Athlete is the first definitive biography of Charlie Ward. Culled from hundreds of articles, clippings, books and original interviews with those who know Charlie best, this story begins with a foundation of college athletic excellence laid down by his father. From there, Jon Finkel traces Ward’s background from small-town Thomasville, Georgia to football-crazed Tallahassee to basketball Mecca Madison Square Garden in New York City. Ward’s remarkable journey includes staggering setbacks—from a near career-ending leg injury in high school, to academic obstacles prior to attending Florida State, to not being drafted by an NFL team after winning the Heisman Trophy. Through it all, Charlie’s calm demeanor, high character and unshakeable faith buoyed his belief that be it basketball or football, grades or career, he was going to succeed and set a strong example along the way.
As electrifying as Charlie Ward’s highlight reel, The Athlete is a towering sports biography, epic in scope and triumphant in its portrayal of one of the greatest modern athletes the world has ever seen.