Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and Devin Durrant. Which name doesn't belong? The answer is obvious. It is my name, Devin Durrant. However, 21 years ago, in 1984, my name did belong in that group. That is when I, along with the others mentioned above, was named by the national media as a college All-American in the sport of basketball. I made All-American when I logically should not have. I was a skinny, six-foot seven-inch white kid with only average speed from the state of Utah. How did I do it? I did it by interlocking all the pieces of what I call, The All-American Puzzle. To raise an All-American, you, as a parent, will need to do your part to help your son or daughter locate and place each piece where it belongs in his or her All-American Puzzle.

My book Raising An All-American is written to mothers and fathers who want to help a son or daughter excel in athletics. It is organized into nine parts or chapters. Each part is one piece of my All-American Puzzle. Throughout the book, I give specific principles and practices a parent can follow to help their child succeed. I take examples from my own All-American sports career and the careers of other star athletes and use them to illustrate each of the nine principles I teach proven principles which will give a parent direction to help a boy or girl excel in athletics. I also illustrate how the lessons a youngster learns from putting together the nine parts of my All-American Puzzle can be used to excel in any demanding pursuit inside or outside the world of athletics.

In Raising An All-American, I share ideas parents can use to help a child do the following: be his or her own coach, enjoy work, be coachable, increase mental and physical toughness, be more confident, love sports, and make his or her own luck. I also teach parents how to help their child see a vision of future success as well as how parents can match their child's gifts with the right sport for that child. I invite you to read my book and learn in detail how you can help your child complete his or her very own All-American puzzle. -- Devin Durrant