The Quest for Greatness - Sampler


This is an inspirational and fascinating fictitious novel that shows that professional sports in United States of America can be a path to economic empowerment. This novel is an indication that sports skills, hard work and good behavior are usually accompanied by a successful outcome.

The Quest For Greatness narrates a story about a man whose parents migrated to United States of America from Africa before he was born. His parents migrated to United States of America in quest of economic emancipation. His parents were college graduates in their country of origin before their migration to United States of America. It was difficult for them to make transition in America due to communication barrier and cultural differences. They came to the realization that United States of America is a conglomeration of people from all over the world with enormous diversity.

They did menial jobs to survive and put food on the table while making a transition in America. It was during this time that the professional basketball star and a politician, Tim was born. His father started teaching him how to play basketball at a young age of five which turned out to be his means of livelihood later in life. He distinguished himself as a skillful basketball player and was drafted by a United States NBA professional basketball franchise and he played for his professional team after graduating from college. He was very talented in playing basketball which resulted in his selection as a player for the United State All Star Basketball Team for several years. He diversified his activities by investing in some businesses. He became a rare gem of business colossus. He also excelled in politics as a United States Senator.

He had a successful career as a professional player, an investor and a politician. Tim's diligence, tenacity of purpose and skills propelled him to greater heights. He was a benevolent and generous person. He helped the poor and the needy tremendously.

This is an awesome and fascinating novel which you will find difficult to put down once you start reading.

The Quest For



Valentine C. Okonkwo

Copyright © 2019 Valentine C. Okonkwo

All right reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, or by

any means without prior consent of the author and publisher, except brief quotes

used in reviews.

ISBN- 9798618251662

Book Production: Crystell Publications

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This is a fictitious and magnificent novel that motivates

people to aspire highly. It is a novel about a man who became an

eminent person in society with tremendous accomplishments due

to his determination, diligence and persistence in working to

meet his goals. This novel reminds us that professional sports is

very lucrative in United States of America and is a path to

economic empowerment. The main subject of discussion

achieved his objective of being a professional basketball player

after his graduation from a University. Later, he became an

investor, a community activist, a political aspirant and a senator

in United States of America.


Tim was born in a small town in California called Hanford.

This town and some other neighboring towns such as Corcoran,

Visalia and Porterville usually have enormous amount of pollens

in the atmosphere and were highly polluted.

One out of every four kids in Hanford and its environs had the

tendency to be asthmatic at that time. Numerous individuals also

had the propensity to be allergic due to lots of pollens in the air

and other factors. Many people experienced seasonal or perennial

allergies in Tim's town due to pollens, environmental factors and

other causative factors.

Majority of people were prescribed an inhaler called albuterol

(brand name, Ventolin or ProAir) which is used for treatment of

breathing problem or shortness of breath and fluticasone inhaler

(brand name, Flonase) for prevention of shortness of breath,

wheezing, sneezing and nasal congestion.

Non-prescription antihistamine medications such as

chlorpheniramine (brand name, clor-trimeton), loratadine (brand

name, Claritin) and diphenhydramine (brand name, Benadryl)

which are often used to alleviate allergic symptoms such as

sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and itching were commonly

purchased over-the-counter in various pharmacies and were in


Valentine C. Okonkwo

high demand.

Packets of a nasal decongestant called pseudoephedrine

(brand name, Sudafed) were frequently purchased.

Eventually, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency

regulated its purchase to one packet a month per person based on

milligrams per weight.

Many farms existed in Hanford and its surrounding towns.

Weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides were commonly used in

the farms. The purpose of using weed killer products is to remove

unwanted weeds, fertilizers help for rapid growth of crops and

pesticides are important for pest control. The utilization of weed

killers, fertilizers and pesticides apparently created health

hazards. It was speculated that chemicals and substances in the

air might have the propensity to cause cancer.

It is reasonable to infer that environmental factors played a

role in causing cancer in residents of those areas. Animals like

cows, pigs and chickens were fed with growth hormones which

could be carcinogenic in humans. There was high mortality rate

in these areas due to individuals that suffered from cancer. The

appearance of severe fog and smog in the atmosphere in this part

of California at certain time of the year is rampant.

Sometimes, it gets very foggy with zero visibility which

makes it difficult to drive on the road.

The name of Tim's father was Shawn and his mother' s name

was Destiny. Tim's father was born in his parents' house at his

country of origin. A nurse assisted his mother to deliver him

during labor. There was no nearby hospital at that time and

people had to travel about one hundred miles to get to the only

city with a hospital.

Tim's mother was born in the countryside at a local


The Quest For Greatness

government clinic of her country of origin. His parents had a

rough and hard life. It was extremely difficult for his

grandparents to provide three square meals daily for their

children. His paternal grandfather was a farmer and he did low

scale farming by tedious manual labor.

There were no technological innovation and advancement at

that time. Mechanized farming was nonexistent during that


His paternal grandfather, Stephen married three wives

because polygamy was acceptable in their society and not a

crime. He had several children. The number of children and

farms a person had were the criteria used to assess how wealthy

the person was during the uncivilized days.

His paternal grandfather was a very strong man and a wrestler

that made residents of his town gave him a nickname, "The Under

taker". Wrestling matches were periodically organized between

different villages in his town. His grandpa was an unbeatable

champion. He was very famous, and many people considered it

an honor to be his friend.

He was an atheist and he worshipped three deities. He had a

superstition that the gods he worshipped brought him fortune,

wealth and good health.

Many people did not believe in the existence of God during

that period, so they were not Christians until Irish priests and

other foreign priests introduced Christianity in that country.

Subsequently, people's perceptions and beliefs broadened.

Many people were converted to be Christians. They came to the

realization that they should worship only one God.

Tim's maternal grandfather was a wine tapper and a hunter.


Valentine C. Okonkwo

He climbed many palm trees daily to extract palm wine which he

sold at a market. Due to lack of technology at that time, he used

strings of ropes he put together to climb the palm trees. He was

very creative in doing what he had to do to survive.

He hunted for deers. He sold some of the deers at a local

market and took the rest home to be used in cooking foods for his


He had three wives with several children. Tim 's grandparents

knew the value of education and encouraged their children to

attend schools. They believed that knowledge is power and

encouraged them to study hard. They had a strong desire to see

their children do better than them.

Tim's father, Shawn studied Accountancy at a University in

his country and graduated with honors. There was massive

unemployment in his country during the time of his graduation,

so he was unable to be employed as an Accountant for seven

months. Eventually he got a job at his State Department of

Commerce as an accountant, but his monthly salary was not

reasonable and there were no incentives to boost his morale.

He resolved to travel to the United States of America if the

opportunity arose.

Tim's parents, Shawn and Destiny were high school

sweethearts. Their friendship began when they were senior

students in high school. Both were eighteen years old at the time.

Destiny studied Sociology at a University in her country and

obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She got an admission

for an advanced study in Sociology at the time of her graduation.

She was awarded a Master’s degree in her field of specialization

at the completion of her academic program.

She got an employment in her State Department of Social


The Quest For Greatness

Welfare nine months after her postgraduate study. Tim's parents

were African American Immigrants who travelled to the United

States of America in search of a better life. Tim's dad, Shawn was

helped by his paternal uncle, Godwin to migrate to United States

of America. His uncle who was a resident of United States of

America applied for his visa through a Visa Lottery drawn by

United States of America Immigration Office for the people of


Luckily, Shawn was one of the successful candidates that were

selected from his country. He promised to marry Destiny and

got engaged to her before he migrated to United States of

America. He was an affable and kind man. He was a man of

integrity and transparent honesty.

On his arrival to United States of America, he worked

diligently to have economic emancipation. Making transition in

a foreign country was not easy for him but as soon as he became

a little comfortable, he went back to his country and married his

high school sweetheart, Destiny as promised.

He applied to United States Immigration Office to bring her

to America. The application process took about one year before

Destiny was granted a visa. Shawn paid one thousand eight

hundred and fifty dollars for Destiny's round-trip flight ticket

from Lagos, Nigeria to Sacramento, California.

Destiny's parents and siblings organized a sendoff party for

her a week before her departure. There were plenty of foods and

drinks. Everyone ate to his or her satisfaction. Friends and wellwishers

gave her words of advice at her party.

On the day of her departure to America, her siblings, friends

and co-workers escorted her to the airport to board a flight. She


Valentine C. Okonkwo

was scared of flying in an airplane because this was her first time.

Her first flight was from a local airport in her state to a big

city in her country called Lagos where she boarded an

International flight to United States of America after three hours

of layover. She was terrified when her plane ran at a very high

speed on the runway to take off. She felt as if her heart ran

through her mouth to vanish, but she gradually overcame her


Shawn did a couple of menial jobs in United States in order to

survive and put food on the table. He worked as a security guard

in a parking lot for a while and also as a cashier in a convenience

store. The challenges of making a transition in a foreign country

were enormous and overwhelming for Shawn.

He and his wife had to deal with cultural differences and

diversity in America. They spoke with a foreign accent and

pronounced English words differently and many Americans

found it hard to understand them. Some Americans disliked and

disrespected them because of their accent. They came to the

realization that United States of America is a conglomeration of

people from all over the world and that these individuals have

diverse beliefs and culture.

It took quite a long time for Destiny to get her first job in

United States of America. She got her first job to work as a

waitress in a restaurant six months after her arrival to America.

She was very excited to earn the American dollars for the first

time which had much greater value than the currency in her

country of origin. She was paid five dollars and fifty cents hourly

for a forty-hour shift per week. Fortunately, she made extra

money on tips and made up to fifty dollars on tips each week.

She worked at this restaurant for a year before her husband got


The Quest For Greatness

her pregnant. Their first baby, Tim was born at Hanford

Community Hospital and he weighed seven pounds at birth.

Destiny took a six-week maternity leave before she went back to

work. She drove Tim to a daycare daily before going to work.

His parents started teaching him how to read and write at the

age of three. When he was five years old, his parents enrolled him

in preschool. He started kindergarten at the age of six. He was a

good and likable child. He showed high level of intelligence in


Tim's father made him develop interest in basketball at a very

young age. He started teaching him how to play basketball at the

age of five which became very beneficial in Tim's life. He

purchased a small basketball hoop for him.

His dad never wanted him to play American football because

he felt that it was a dangerous sport at that time. He never gave

him the exposure to play football. When Tim was ten years old,

his dad taught him how to play soccer and tennis. He liked both

sports but not as much as he liked basketball. Tim's parents had

a baby girl when he was two years old. His parents gave her the

name Emily. He was very excited to have a sister who he played

with most of the time.


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