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NBA Rags-to-Riches Stories to Warm the Heart

The world is full of negative headlines and ill feeling in 2020, with even the solace people sometimes find in sport being hard to come by.

So, we thought we would piece together some of the most heartwarming NBA rags-to-riches stories that exist today, from players who showed that keeping your head up and your eye on the prize can still pay off.

Many players went from playing street ball to the big leagues, which is part of what makes the NBA so appealing to the masses

Kawhi Leonard

You don't get the nickname "The Claw" because you had an easy upbringing and Kawhi Leonard's bucket hands are the product of a life spent trying to provide for his loved ones despite his father being gunned down in his place of work when Leonard was still young.

The drive and ambition he showed to make it thereafter now shines through on the court week-in week-out for the Clippers, with NBA odds suggesting Leonard is in the running for a shot at the championship this season.

The game of basketball showed these players that the sky is the limit when it comes to what they can achieve

Jimmy Butler

Butler was still a mere pup when his birth mother booted him unceremoniously from the family home, meaning he was forced to fend for himself.

Luckily for Butler the family of a fellow high school teammate took him in and made sure he realized his potential out on the courts of the NBA.

Caron Butler

When Butler was a young man trouble followed him like the plague, as the system did everything it could to incarcerate someone with a hidden talent for playing ball.

Before his 18th birthday he had already been arrested too many times to count on three hands. It was only during time spent in a detention facility that Butler's love for the game of basketball flourished, a love he would eventually ride all the way to the glitz and glamour of the NBA.

Serge Ibaka

You think growing up in a large family is difficult, well Serge Ibaka spent his formative years surrounded by no less than 17 siblings, all making their way in the Republic of Congo.

Having cared for his family, after the premature death of his mother and imprisonment of his father, Ibaka finally got to follow his dream of playing pro basketball in Spain, before transferring over to the NBA, finishing a journey that is about as epic as it gets.