When my mother was pregnant with me she decided she didn’t want to have me. Sixty-three years ago you really didn’t hear that much about abortion. She tried to abort me several times with strychnine, which is rat poisoning. It didn’t work. God had a purpose for me. She then went to Glendale, Ohio to a home for unwed mothers. She was married but didn’t want to keep me. After I was born there she gave me away. After about six weeks, with the help of the authorities, I was found. My father was twenty-seven at the time. He divorced my mom and moved in with my grandmother, but at that young age he wasn’t going to stay home, so my grandmother raised me.
Growing up I was a sick child, possibly from the attempted abortions. I wasn’t the best in school, possibly from strychnine poisoning. If I played sports I would go four and five miles, as a seven and eight years old, to the Little League Baseball diamond. I played sports all through high school but had to get to the games on my own because my grandmother didn’t drive and my grandfather was legally blind. My grandmother prayed every night until I returned home. There’s no doubt that her prayers are what sustained me and kept me from being killed. During high school, I was the first one to play if the basketball team was way ahead or the last one into play at other times.
After high school graduation, I really didn’t have any future. Sitting in Sunday School class in a Church of God (Cleveland, TN), in Hamilton, Ohio, a friend said, “Greg, you need to try out for Lee [University]. They have a pretty good team, You might be able to make it.” I had asked my dad if I could go to Lee. He said yes, and that he would help me with the money. So I enrolled in Lee and became a starting player on the basketball team for three years. Just recently I was notified that I am going to be added to the Lee University Basketball Hall of Fame. This shows how a guy who never played much basketball in high school is blessed by God’s hand on his life.
I saw my mother when I was five years old and again when I was thirty-three. One of her sisters called and asked if I would come to Chicago, IL and meet my mother. At the time my daughters were three and six years old. I got lost in Chicago and was scared for my kids. My mom lived in a small apartment. It wasn’t a very good situation. My mother just wanted peace of mind. I told her a little about my life, what I had done. I told her I had nothing against her, and that if it had to be done again I would want my grandmother to raise because I couldn’t have been raised any better. I think that gave her peace. I could tell she had a sense of relief. She realized she didn’t have to worry about going to her grave with me hating her. That was thirty years ago. I don’t know if she’s alive or if she has died.