By Pam Evers, Milwaukee, WI
Frederick Sterling Woods, a professional basketball player, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s 30 years old and engaged to be married. He’s 6’8” and wears a size 14 shoe. Not quite like Cinderella. When people see him for the first time, he said, “They comment on my height and do the weather joke.”
Fred was just a toddler when he received his first basketball. He started really playing when he was about 10 years old. He also played soccer but basketball was always his passion. In high school at Riverside, he noticed that he had a gift.
“I always wanted to play professional basketball,” said Fred. His parents were supportive about his decision to play in a foreign country. “It was my choice,” he said. “They trusted my decision.”
There are two to four Americans playing on each foreign team. The first country Fred played in was Algeria in Northern Africa. He’s a forward and scores 16 to 20 points per game.
Fred currently lives in China. He lives in a two-bedroom apartment. He doesn’t speak Chinese but he knows a few Spanish words. He’s also been to China, Serbia, Oman, Bahrain and Bolivia.
He told us that he has a lot of followers on Facebook. The most you can have is 5,000.
When asked where he sees himself in the next five years, Fred said, “Happy and healthy,” something his father also said. What he most likes to do outside of playing basketball, is to “travel and chill out.” Fred says that his fellow players would describe him as “funny and laid back.”