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Singleton cried when basketball dream died

Guitarist reveals he channeled his hurt into lyrics after ankle injury halted his sporting rise

Jarekus Singleton has admitted he was reduced to tears when his dream of becoming an NBA star died.

He won the coveted National Player Of The Year award while playing college basketball and looked set for a career in the big time. But an ankle injury forced him to quit the sport he loved. And he reveals he ploughed his emotions into his I Refuse To Lose album in 2013.

The Mississippi-born guitarist tells the Panama City News Herald: “I was the No.1 player in the state in 2002. Then, I had cartilage surgery on my ankle and was back home with nowhere to go, nothing to do. I worked as a janitor.

“I cried a bunch of nights when I knew I wasn’t gonna go play basketball anymore.

He then turned his attention fully to writing and playing guitar and formed the Jarekus Singleton Blues Band in 2009, releasing first album Heartfelt in 2011.

He adds: “Within a struggle you have to be patient, want to be able to stand up, bounce back, not dwell in it. It creates patience. A lot of things go through with a willing mind.”

Earlier this year, Singleton said he respected the members of his family who refuse to attend his shows for religious reasons. The 31-year-old is working on his next album and is currently on tour.

Tour dates

Aug 19: Sellersville Theater, PA
Aug 20:Woonsocket Chan’s, RI
Aug 21: Somerville Johnny D’s, MA
Aug 22: New York Hudson River Park, NY
Aug 29: Herselt Varenwinkel Festival, Belgium
Aug 30: Colne The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, UK
Sep 05: Monaghan Harvest Time Blues Festival, Ireland
Sep 11: Owensboro The Miller House, KY
Sep 12: Fort Know Blues Fest, KY
Sep 19: Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, TN
Sep 20: Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, TN
Sep 21: Nashville City Winery, TN
Sep 24: Savannah Jazz Festival, GA
Oct 03: Katowice Rawa Blues Festival, Poland
Oct 09: Boca Raton The Funky Biscuit, FL
Oct 10: Daytona Beach Blues Festival, FL
Oct 11: Tampa Skipper’s Smokehouse, FL
Oct 17: Jackson Underground 119, MS
Oct 18: New Orleans Crescent City Blues Festival, LA
Oct 24: Hollywood Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, FL
Jan 16: Cedarburg Cultural Center, WI
Feb 15: Miami Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea, FL

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