Words by Terrence Tomlin
A new Advil campaign titled “The Show Must Go On” featuring New York City hoops legend God Shammgod and his son God Shammgod Jr. highlights the challenges that come with playing professional basketball, how Advil has been committed for years to helping heal the aches and pains that come from the game and how their bond as father and son has inspired them both throughout their careers.
Shammgod became a New York City basketball icon for battling some the city’s toughest point guards in the 90s, but at just 17 years old, he was dodging the influences of NYC’s street life to embrace the responsibilities of fatherhood.
“I grew up in a neighborhood where basketball and street basketball, drugs, all that stuff was the number one option. All that stuff was popular. The only thing I wanted to do was play at Rucker Park. I didn’t care about college. I didn’t even watch the NBA at that time. The NBA was coming on like once a week. I was in the streets. My best friends were Cam'ron, Ma$e and Big L, stuff like that. I’m running around with people that were just enjoying life, going to parties, playing basketball. When I had my son, everything changed. I’m living for somebody that’s bigger than me. I’m living for a purpose.”
Shammgod told The Bigs that all the credit for his success belongs to his son.
“Without him, not saying this wouldn’t have happened but the likelihood of it would probably be real small because he was the main purpose of me doing all the things I’ve done in life.”
Shammgod Jr. who is an assistant coach with the Delaware Blue Coats, a G League team affiliated with the Philadelphia 76ers, says watching his father go from creating one of basketballs most notable crossovers, to now, training some of the best athletes in the game today as a player development coach for the Dallas Mavericks, inspired him to go down a similar path and that the campaign is an example of one of the biggest lessons he learned from his father, taking initiative and getting what you work for.
“The main thing my dad always told me was that if I wanted to do something “I” had to do it. Even growing up working out and stuff, I would have to call my dad to work out and it wasn’t like he didn’t want to do it. It was more of a thing of, if you really want this life, if you really want to be a basketball player, then you’ll put the work in. Nobody will force you to go to a gym and workout.”
In the campaign, Shammgod explains that his role with the Mavericks can lead to him defending some of the best young athletes of today one-on-one and that Advil has always been reliable when it’s time to treat his aches and pains.
“You look at all the stuff we have now, all this equipment, all these other things. Back in the day, you had Advil and you had ice. If you broke your leg, hey here’s some Advil and put some ice on it. Whatever the case was. You can get into any type of accident outside, take some Advil, get some ice, you’ll be fine. Now, we have all these things but Advil is still here.”
The Advil campaign also serves as a full circle moment for the father and son and gives us an inside look at the bond that the Shammgod’s have had since the very beginning of Jr’s life.
“Before he even talked or drank a bottle, two weeks out the hospital he was at his first game and he was at every high school game I played that whole year. If you look at me in high school online or anything like that, you always see a trophy in one hand and my son in the other hand.”
Shammgod said this opportunity represents the resilience that’s helped him navigate through his career and fatherhood.
“For me its about resilience. Just some good things with a father and son and showing that if you dream big, sometimes even if you don’t get your dream, you’re gonna get what you deserve. You’re gonna get what you put in. And right now, I think I’m a prime example of that.”
Click here to see Advil's "The Show Must Go On" campaign with God Shammgod and God Shammgod Jr.