my new favorite olympian

My New Favorite Olympian, Episode 6: 3×3 Basketball Player, Kareem Maddox

Why My New Favorite Olympian is... Kareem Maddox

It's easy to tell someone to "Follow your dreams." But how many of us have the intestinal fortitude to quit a full-time job not once, but twice, to do just that. Well, Kareem Maddox did. Most recently, he quit his successful producing career at 30 years old to try to make the U.S. Olympic 3 on 3 basketball team. (Spoiler alert: He didn't made the team.)

Maddox joined NBCLX's Ngozi Ekeledo and Olympic fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad on our podcast "My New Favorite Olympian" to discuss his Olympic journey and why he didn't give up on his Olympic pursuit when every logical bone in his body told him to abandon his dreams. And he shares what happens next after your Olympic pursuit comes up painfully short. (CLICK HERE to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform or CLICK HERE to watch the full video.)

Episode Summary

In this episode, Maddox reveals how he quit a stable podcast producing gig at Spotify's podcasting arm, Gimlet Media, to take one last crack at making the Olympic team. " I didn’t necessarily want to quit. You know, I really loved my job at Spotify...I felt like it was manageable. But at a certain point, you know, you just got to commit and dedicate. And I felt like January 2020 was the right time to do that," he said.


 I think it's natural to wake up every day and ask yourself if you're doing the right thing and this doesn't apply to sports necessarily. But when I was in Poland, on the one hand I was seeing my friends who were in the states, had stable jobs, were starting families, were getting married, doing all this stuff that I just wasn't doing at the time...But the question was like, 'Should I be over here at all, or should I be doing what everyone else is?'

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