Added: Shaneen Marlatt - Date: 18.01.2022 03:02 - Views: 37850 - Clicks: 9251
Sitting on a park bench overlooking Lake Ontario in Toronto on a brilliant summer day inI was approached by a woman looking for directions. The woman mentioned that she had emigrated from Iran a couple of months before, and I replied that I knew of only one person who had recently lived in Iran, an American who had played basketball there. By coincidence, she also knew a basketball player in Iran. He had circulated in her social group, and they had been at many of the same parties.
But I did not know whom she meant, and she was embarrassed that she could not pronounce his name. She pulled a phone from her bag, typed in some characters and slowly handed it to me. I could feel her watching my face as I read. It became clear that the only American I knew in Iran was the same one she knew: a charismatic 6-foot, real-life Lonely women Jackson named Jackson Vroman. I must have stared at the phone for a while because I eventually realized she was gently asking if I was O.
Six years earlier, I had planned to write about Vroman. In Octoberwhen he was heading to Tehran from Beirut, Lebanon, I spoke to him by telephone for about an hour during his layover in Amman, Jordan. He told me of his adventures playing ball internationally — of his two passports smeared with the ink of dozens of countries, of passionate basketball fans in Lithuania, of wild nights avoiding the police in Iran and of a Lebanese night life that never shut down.
It would make a great story, I told him, and we decided to reconvene after the Iranian domestic league ended. But we never spoke again. He could never sit still very long, and I was focused on other work. And then nothing.
But the chance meeting with the woman in Toronto would inevitably turn my attention back to an athlete who might have become a sensation in the N. Imagine what the American media would have done with a player who dressed in costumes in his spare time, hung out at art festivals, essentially worshiped a tiny white dog, partied relentlessly and — it should be noted — was a relentless rebounder. Jackson was gaunt, not in playing shape and seemingly overcome with emotions and a growing spirituality.
He went to where his stepmom sat, got down on his knees and hugged her. But he was so loving. He walks with a slight hitch from years of playing basketball around the world on gimpy feet and from folding his seven-foot frame into cramped airplane seats and hotel beds. Over 40 years ago, he was a lithe basketball prospect out of Provo High School in Utah.
He stood in eighth grade, jumped out of the gym, and was eventually recruited to U. There were definite similarities with Walton. He, too, was a gifted big man with a shaggy blond mane and a rebellious streak. As a skinny freshman at U. Today, he claims the distinction of being the only person to play for both the revered Wooden and the provocative Jerry Tarkanian. While Brett was at U. He was then drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, but did not stick. He played 11 games for the Utah Jazz in and then crossed the Atlantic to carve out a career in Europe, taking along his wife Lonely women Jackson young children: Jackson and his older sister, Lauren.
For a while, it was an idyllic life. The kids went to school in Spain and vacationed in the Greek Isles. In Italy, they lived next to Harvey Catchings, another basketball big man making a living in Europe. The Vromans and the Catchingses car-pooled their kids to school; the group included a little girl named Tamika Catchings, a future star in the W. By the late s the family had settled back in Utah, but Brett struggled to adjust as he studied to become a mental health worker, the same job he holds today.
After 13 years of marriage, he and Lesle Davis split up when Jackson was in the first grade. Davis, who declined to be interviewed for this article, took the children to live in Alaska but eventually sent both of them back to Utah to live with their father. Jackson clashed with his father at times, and basketball could be the most contentious subject of all. Still, with the help of his stepmother Jackson managed to get admitted to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he played for a coach named Curtis Condie. Sure enough, Eustachy fell instantly for him.
Tough, emotionally vulnerable, loyal and rebellious all at once, Jackson Vroman reminded Eustachy of himself. I love him. In June he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls at the beginning of the second round and immediately traded to the Phoenix Suns for Lonely women Jackson Deng.
Brett proudly recalls his son dominating Tracy McGrady in one game, and playing even better against Tim Duncan. While attempting a Lonely women Jackson, Jackson shattered his wrist. By the time it healed, the course of his life had changed. He was headed overseas. Basketball abroad was a wild and sometimes dangerous experience for Jackson Vroman. Inwhile playing in Lithuania for BC Lietuvos Rytas, he took a knee to the chest in a scramble for a loose ball. On the team bus afterward, he struggled to keep from passing out.
Eventually the bus was rerouted to a hospital in Vilnius, where it was discovered that his chest cavity was filling with blood. He ended up with a inch incision in his side and a pair of half-inch hoses sticking out of his torso to drain the fluid. His father offered to catch the next plane to Lithuania, but Jackson said it was not necessary. It was not the last time he would seek to self-medicate. But as usual, he had no trouble finding the party. He discovered a group of young, westernized residents of Tehran and ed their inner circle. One of them was the Iranian woman from the park in Toronto, who asked not to be identified for fear of government reprisals.
She said that Vroman was always gracious and friendly and that people flocked to him. One, a year-old construction worker named Borzoo, agreed to a telephone interview. He could always break the language barrier. It was around that time that Vroman was recruited to play for the national team of Lebanon, a familiar practice in international basketball.
Most of the other members of the Lebanese team, including Matt Freije, a former Vanderbilt forward, stayed in a decent downtown hotel in Beirut. But Jackson had a contractual arrangement that allowed him to stay in a more opulent setting. The Phoenicia Hotel sits across the street from the carcass of an abandoned building that still bears the pockmarks of a more violent time in Lebanese history. But it is close to the Mediterranean beachfront and, most important for Jackson, that famed Beirut night life. For him, it was nothing.
At one point, Jackson paid for his father to fly to Turkey to see him play in the world championships. And back in Utah later that summer, Jackson invited his father along to a snazzy weekend party in Park City. As they shared a chairlift ride up the mountain, Jackson spoke of the similar routes their lives had taken.
And yet there were telling differences between father and son. Jackson was Lonely women Jackson 28, but he had stayed untethered — there were many women, but no wife, or children, or overarching responsibilities. He was not, in some ways, like his father at all. Following two seasons in Iran and two summers in Lebanon, Jackson moved on to China, where, beginning inhe played for an assortment of teams — the Shenzhen Leopards, the Jiangsu Dragons and Shandong — for lucrative sums.
But he did not like China and, among other things, he missed his beloved dog, Hugo Bauce. Still, Jackson kept playing, and making good money. Which meant he could still do the things he wanted to do, such as partying in Las Vegas or inviting the Vroman clan for a weeklong vacation in Lake Tahoe, Calif. He could be remarkably generous, and he paid for everything on that trip, including a chef.
At one point during that stay, he found an old set of horseshoes. But before his family could play, Jackson dragged his cousin Ben a former kicker for the University of Utah football team to a hardware store. That was Jackson.
He was feeling it emotionally. But he never did. Instead, he moved into the homes of wealthy friends in Los Angeles, and worked out less frequently. He also told his father he was occasionally feeling faint, sometimes even passing out when he stood up. Years before, Brett had been found to have atrial fibrillation, a heart condition he controls with medication. He wanted his son to consult with the same doctor who had treated him. But that never happened, either. Jackson was too busy planning beach trips to the south of France and emerging as a fixture at the annual Burning Man festival, where his giant costumed frame stood out in the swirling Nevada desert.
And his drug use mushroomed. He told Brett that he had participated in an indigenous ayahuasca ceremony, involving a strong hallucinogenic brew. Then, two months before he died, Jackson overdosed on a combination of GHB, a depressant; ketamine, an anesthetic; and cocaine, and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Jackson was an adult. But you want to know.
Instinctively, though, Brett Vroman, a therapist with experience in substance abuse, sensed something was wrong. With his concerns increasing, Brett fashioned a note to his son suggesting he come home to Utah to settle down and get control of his life.
But he thought it would fall on deaf ears. She added that Jackson also provided instructions about where his little dog would go should anything happen to him. On the night he died, Jackson was staying with a friend in Hollywood. In the early hours of June 29,according to home surveillance video viewed by the Los Angeles Police Department, he went outside with his dog, sat by the pool and smoked a cigarette.Lonely women Jackson
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