Bill Bradley: Rolling Along

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By David Jordan Jr

“Never look down on people you don’t understand.” This statement was told to Senator Bill Bradley by his grandmother when he was a young child growing up in Crystal City, Missouri. This statement seemed to set in path a mind for constant discovery and a desire to bring people together.

Bill Bradley has had a life defined by opportunity, triumph, history and ambition. On paper, Senator Bradley has reached the pinnacle of all of his endeavors; on the basketball court, he was a college all-American, an Olympic gold medalist, an NBA champion, and a basketball hall of famer.  Off of the court, Bradley was a Rhodes Scholar, a member of the Air Force, a U.S. Senator, an author, and a humanitarian contributing his knowledge, wisdom and resources to various corporations and organizations as a consultant and an investor. These accomplishments and attributes have enabled Senator Bradley to be a person who has impacted the world in various capacities at different times during his life.

“Rolling Along” is Bradley’s one-man show that presents the world with the opportunity to hear about his life from his mouth. Bradley talks about his youth, growing up in Crystal City, Missouri, and how the simple life in that city shaped him to eventually become the man he grew to be in this world. Two things that one will understand in hearing Bradley speak about his life was the impact that his parents had upon his growth into manhood. The support from both his mother and father and the expectations both of them had on him to be an educated, respectable, and productive man in this world drove him to reach the pinnacle of all of his endeavors. As with any successful person, the difficulties encountered in life present the opportunity for growth to happen. The first year of Bradley’s undergraduate career at Princeton would see him make poor grades, yet he eventually

became a Rhodes Scholar. His interactions with Black teammates during his youth playing baseball and during his career with the New York Knicks helped him gain insight into the difficulties experienced by Black people in this country simply because of the color of their skin.

Those experiences would be a springboard for the right he sought to bring forth in the world during his political career as a U.S. Senator and also as a Presidential candidate.

The importance of family was expressed by Senator Bradley as he spoke about his life as a husband and as a father and the sacrifices that were required in his life during his political career.

The one thing that Bradley was able to convey in his one-man show was the fact that life keeps rolling along, through both the good and the bad. Growing up on the Mississippi River in Crystal City, Missouri provided an unbeknownst metaphor for Bradley, that he would later fully understand later in life.


The responsibility for self and the obligation to be a light for others was instilled in Senator Bradley at a young age, and at eighty years old, still drives him to be the inspiration for the next generation.

“Rolling Along can be seen on Max. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.