Basketball legend Muggsy Bogues recently held a book signing event in his hometown of Baltimore. Residents were able to speak with the NBA legend and get him to sign his latest literary effort, “Muggsy: My Life from a Kid in the Projects to the Godfather of Small Ball," released on May 17. (Photo Courtesy)

By Demetrius Dillard,
Special to the AFRO

Basketball legend, philanthropist and author, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues released a new autobiography chronicling some of his life’s most memorable moments entitled “Muggsy: My Life from a Kid in the Projects to the Godfather of Small Ball.”

The former NBA star returned home to hold a book signing that attracted dozens of relatives, friends and supporters. Bar One Restaurant & Lounge, a relatively new Black-owned eatery in Harbor East, hosted the two-hour event.

“I’m coming here to pay tribute to a legend,” said Richard Catlett, one of Bogue’s friends.

“His legacy will always live throughout Baltimore. He’s been one of the greatest to ever come out of Baltimore- not only on the court but outside the court. He’s a great individual and a great man.”

Bogues, 57, rose to prominence as part of the Dunbar High School basketball dynasty in the early 1980s along with teammates Reggie Lewis, David Wingate and Reggie Williams. The four-man tandem set a precedent for Baltimore’s rich basketball culture and legacy.

NBA star Muggsy Bogues with Carl Stokes, former Baltimore City Council member, at the recent release of the athlete’s latest book. (Photo Courtesy)

Raised in East Baltimore’s Lafayette Housing Projects, Bogues went on to excel as a point guard for Wake Forest University’s basketball program before being drafted 12th overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets.

Making history as the shortest man to ever play in the NBA at 5-foot-3, Bogues’ prime years came when he starred for the Charlotte Hornets, where he played nine of his 14 seasons. He also suited up for the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors before concluding his professional career in 2001. Bogues retired from the NBA as the league’s No. 16 all-time assist leader.

“Feels great to be back home. This is where it all began,” Bogues said. “I’m just honored to be in this position and I’m blessed to be able to say I came from Baltimore. “It’s good to see the people that you started with.” 

Throughout the evening, Bogues signed books and spoke and took pictures with guests, who bought the autobiography, which was characterized by book reviewers as a “candid and insightful memoir.” 

The 256-page book gives readers an in-depth glimpse into his career, obstacles and triumphs — from legendary duels with prominent figures of the 1990s like Michael Jordan, John Stockton and Gary Payton, to film “Space Jam,” to watching a young Steph Curry blossom into the star he is today.

Bogues overcame a good deal of adversity and is no stranger to being underestimated due to his height from childhood into adulthood. He graduated from Wake Forest as the ACC’s (Atlantic Coast Conference) all-time leader in assists and steals, to go on to excel in arguably the most competitive era of the NBA, distinguishing himself as a defensive specialist and floor general alongside Alonzo Mourning, Larry Johnson and Dell Curry.

The Charlotte, N.C., resident hopes the memoir can serve as an inspirational tool as well.

Basketball legend Muggsy Bogues recently held a book signing event in his hometown of Baltimore. (Photo Courtesy)

“This opportunity came around, and I wanted to put it out there because I wanted to give [hope to] a lot of folks that go through so many challenges, especially with the pandemic,” Bogues said.

“You want to make sure that folks have the opportunity just to believe that anything is possible. We face challenges that we feel are unvarying, that we can’t overcome, but hopefully, they can read my story and believe that anything is possible.”

Since retiring from the NBA more than 20 years ago, Bogues has worked in the real estate industry, gotten involved with promotional advertising and has coached youth basketball teams and programs. He also runs a nonprofit, the Muggsy Bogues Family Foundation, and serves as a team ambassador of the Charlotte Bobcats. Muggsy also became the special project adviser for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.

His first book, “In the Land of Giants: My Life in Basketball,” was released in 1994.

Bogue’s daughters, Brittney and Tyisha, and his older brother, Anthony “Stroll” Bogues, attended the book signing along with a host of other family members and friends who still reside in the area.

“He [Muggsy] means a lot to this city and to this culture,” said Anthony Bogues, who works part-time as a basketball referee at various sporting events in the city.”

“I’m so proud of him, it’s no words I could say. I’m so proud of him, I love him to death and I’m glad for him to do what he does.”

Brittney Bogues works closely with her father in the family’s charitable foundation. She also is the owner and founder of Bogues Group, a North Carolina-based consulting agency.

“His life story transcends sports. He’s far bigger than sports,” Brittney said.

“The fact that he overcame all obstacles – where he grew up and being the shortest to ever play – I feel like this book really talks about his relationships and how he impacted the game while he was playing and also life after basketball.”

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