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    Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace used defense to lead renaissance


    Editor’s note: To celebrate Detroit Pistons great Ben Wallace’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction, we look back at the story that taught us about his humble beginnings in Alabama, told by former Free Press sports writer Jo-Ann Barnas on March 26, 2002.

    “She taught us to pray and be thankful for whatever we got. To realize that there’s a difference in the feeling between the things that you work for and the things that somebody’s given you. You appreciate the things you work for a whole lot more.”– Ben Wallace, talking about his mother, Sadie Wallace, 66, of White Hall, Ala.

    The boys asked, “How much?” and the man said he wouldn’t go any lower than 20 bucks.

    They stared at the worn piece of shaped steel. It was a beautiful thing, regulation size, a piece of summer they had to have. Give them a day or so, the boys agreed, and they would be back. They would find a way to buy that basketball goal.

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