I grew up in Greenville, North Carolina, obsessed with stories and learning, and I played sports. I played baseball through college before becoming a writer fulltime.
After graduating college in 2009, I wrote THE EDGE OF LEGEND.
It’s about Harlem Globetrotter Ant Aktinson’s profound college basketball journey, going from a Division I star to Division II burnout to hero, leading his hometown college to an impossible national championship.
Meanwhile, I freelanced for different media outlets, including ESPN The Magazine, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Pacific Standard, and more.
In 2015, I co-wrote BEHIND THE DRIVE with Kenney Moore, the founder of Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, and Fries. It’s about chasing the American Dream and making people great food.
In 2017, I published HEAD IN THE GAME: THE MENTAL ENGINEERING OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETES, with HarperCollins’ Dey Street imprint published. It’s about how fear helped me fail as a baseball player. I turned myself into a human guinea pig to understand what makes minds strong and how to make mine stronger. It did OK and got a lot of nice reviews. My favorite: “This book is a goddamned jewel.”
Around this time, I also became a fulltime features writer for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag. That allowed me to spend a lot of time with and wrote stories about great athletes, coaches, and performers such as Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White, World Series champion pitcher Justin Verlander, supermodel Kate Upton, college football coach Urban Meyer, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, and more.
I became recognized as one of the best young sportswriters in the country, with multiple Best American Sports Writing honorable mentions, a Livingston Award finalist spot, and APSE awards.
Meanwhile, in early 2018, I co-wrote CONBODY with Coss Marte. He's a former New York City drug kingpin who reinvented himself in prison and is now a successful fitness entrepreneur. He's without a doubt one of my favorite stories so far.
The last half of 2018, I was also the head writer for Season 1 of WHY SPORTS MATTER, the groundbreaking narrative podcast from RELIGION OF SPORTS, the company created by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady, and Michael Strahan.
Now, I’m focusing on books, speaking, and building HITG, a multimedia expansion on my book HEAD IN THE GAME. (More on all that soon.)
I visit LA and New York City often for my work, but home is still Eastern North Carolina, because my number one job is being a dad to my two young sons.
My grand plan is to write a bunch of novels that sell millions of copies, and I've been writing fiction since I was a kid — but as I got out of college and into the real world, first, I felt I had to learn a lot more about the world than the little bubble I grew up in. That's what the past 10 years have been about. The work I've published so far reflects just a small amount of all I've learned. I've got a lot more work to do.