Bob West is a legendary sports columnist in Texas, serving as sports editor of Jamaal’s hometown newspaper, the Port Arthur News, for 43 years. The winner of many awards, including two as Texas Sports Writer of the Year, West covered Jamaal in high school and throughout his time at the University of Texas and with the Kansas City Chiefs. West, who retired in March 2015, read an advanced copy of The Middle School Rules of Jamaal Charles and provided this commentary.
By Bob West
Once I started on the Middle School Rules of Jamaal Charles, I literally could not put it down until I finished. Though I wrote thousands of words about Jamaal as a high school star in Port Arthur, a standout at the University of Texas and an All-Pro player in Kansas City, this book opened my eyes to so much that he overcame of which I was not fully aware.
Having read Sean Jensen’s beautifully written account of the hurdles Jamaal cleared, and the love and support of his immediate and extended family, I feel honored to have been able to see his life story play out. The book is inspirational and heart warming, and is as unique a feel-good story as you will ever come across.
Young people everywhere, but especially those in the Port Arthur community, need to have the opportunity to read this book and to see what can be accomplished through love, belief in God, faith in themselves and sheer determination. Among other things, it is the perfect anti-bullying playbook.
Of all the athletes I covered in some 49 years in the business, Jamaal was my favorite. Kudos, Jamaal, for being so open and so forthright, and for continuing to be a shining example as a quality individual worthy of having young people look up to you.