A couple of weeks ago, a former star basketball player from Southern Mississippi was shot and killed not far from a high school in Chicago on a Monday afternoon as he was heading into the school’s gym to work out. The story made headlines in Canada because Jonathan Mills used to play for the London Lightning of the Canadian Basketball Leagues. As soon as I heard the story I thought, “slippers”.
When Mills came into Free-FM for an interview, he wore slippers. Crawling out of bed for an 8 am radio appearance wasn’t his favourite thing to do. He was truly dragging his butt, but he was shy and unfailingly polite. He spoke about growing up poor and wanting to be the best in the game. Mills had already made a name for himself on various teams in the US college system and the Lightning was his call up to the pros.
I love this photo so much – Mo Bolden was the team star at the time and the photographer cut off his head! He was trying to capture both players as well as Jonathan’s slippers. It wasn’t easy because one of us – I’m not saying who – is just 5′ 6″. Mo is 6′ 10″.
Jonathan was let go from the Lightning when he failed a drug test. As I write this, no one seems to know if his murder had something to do with drugs or if it was just another one of the more than 350 murders in Chicago this year. Mills was 26.