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Chris Bosh missed out on March Madness during his one year at Georgia Tech, but he still entered the NBA in 2003 with plenty of big-game experience. As a high school senior, Bosh led Lincoln (Dallas) to a 40-0 record, the Class 4A state title and the No. 1 spot in the national rankings. Even though he averaged 21.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game that season, his parents emphasized that GPA was just as important as PPG. They also stressed the importance of balancing athletics with other interests. So while Bosh was a captain for the nation's top basketball team, he was also a member of the National Honor Society and National Society of Black Engineers. Life isn't too different for Bosh these days. In addition to carrying the Toronto Raptors on his back, he runs the Chris Bosh Foundation to promote education, physical fitness and social enrichment for youth.
|Chris Bosh was interested in engineering in high school before becoming an all-star with the Raptors.|
ESPN RISE: What was the secret to going to 40-0 your senior year?
Bosh: I try to figure that out to help my pro career now. (Laughs.) I just try to figure out the formula for what we did, but pretty much it was really just believing we could do it. We felt that we were the best team every time we stepped on the court. And everybody hated losing so much.
ESPN RISE: What does that season mean to you today?
Bosh: It gives me a lot of confidence now because I know that winning is a part of me -- winning is something that's etched in my skin. I want to pursue it still.
ESPN RISE: How do you think your team compares to the other top teams from the past decade?
Bosh: I would have liked to have played other teams. We were very competitive and we weren't really afraid to play anybody. So just being able to play anybody from the 2000s -- if we could go back in time and do that, that would be fun.
ESPN RISE: You excelled academically and athletically. How did you find that balance?
Bosh: It's my parents. They did a very good job of showing me why academics are very important, and they were always preaching to me and telling me about it. That's what they expected out of me. I just wanted to do well. It's something that I believed in. I'm competitive, and I was kind of competitive with grades, too.
ESPN RISE: Besides basketball, what other extracurricular activities were you involved in?
Bosh: I was in a computer graphics program, an engineering program -- it went on and on. My interests always changed, but I found doing things in school very intriguing. That's just something that struck me. I liked doing math, and math was kind of integrated into [engineering] so I guess that's what started my interest in it.
ESPN RISE: How did your focus on school help you on the basketball court>
Bosh: It helps your concentration. You have to concentrate on grades each and every point in the class. You could miss something that could affect what you do, and that's kind of like how it is on the court. You have to pay attention to detail, pay attention to what the other team is doing and pay attention to what you're doing. And I think that in order to become a better basketball player, you have to be a student of the game.
Jessica Camerato covers high school sports for ESPN RISE.