The great life lesson you can learn from these two stars.

Adam Albrecht
3 min readOct 5, 2023

Recently I did my best Alice In Wonderland impression and fell down an internet rabbit hole or two. First I looked up information on NBA star, Damian Lillard, the newest member of the Milwaukee Bucks. Then I looked up info on Travis Kelce, the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. Kelce has received a lot of attention lately for his relationship with Taylor Swift. There must be a lot of pressure dating Taylor Swift. Because you know going into it that if you break up there be a song about you. And you also know that you are never, ever getting back together. Like, ever.

Travis, are you ready for this?

Kelce and Lillard have a lot in common, besides unusual last names. They are both amongst the very best ever to do what they do.

Lillard is a 7-time NBA All-Star. Kelce is an 8-time Pro Bowler. (Those 2 designations are equivalent in their sports. Because in basketball you star, and in football you bowl.)

They both make a shipload of money. Lillard will make $45 million dollars this season. Kelce will make $14 million dollars. (Note: The NBA plays 82 games per season and the NFL plays 17. Which means Kelce is actually paid more on a per-game basis. However, he is also more likely to spend retirement sitting in a dark room struggling to remember his catchphrase. So let’s call it a wash.)

Two Stars

But the other thing they have in common may surprise you. Coming out of high school they were both considered 2-Star athletes.

Damian Lillard proves that even if you are a 2-Star high school athlete you can still make $45 million a year and get to live in Milwaukee.

This means that the experts who evaluate potential college talent rated them both as 2-star prospects in high school. That’s not on a 2-point scale but on a 5-point scale. Said another way, there were 3 tiers of athletes considered better than them.

Yet, here they are. Both make millions of dollars playing their sport at the highest level and are considered amongst the very best at what they do. They make headlines. They date superstars. And perhaps more noteworthy, they are causing dudes like me to check out their Wikipedia pages on their lunch break.

Key Takeaway

Don’t believe the lack of hype. Believe in yourself and your abilities and skills. Believe in your self-improvement journey and potential. Believe that your mind is your most powerful weapon. Your mind determines what you are really capable of. It is not where you start that matters. It is the work you are willing to put in to get to where you want to go. Your will is the great equalizer. Until it is the great surpasser.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Originally published at on October 5, 2023.



Adam Albrecht

I am a growth-minded entrepreneur and author of the book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I share what I'm learning on my journey. And I try to make it funny.