Tallahassee, FL - Cliff Hammonds is flanked by teammates and those who admire him. It's a weekday evening and the Cairo alum is playing a pickup basketball game at his alma mater. It's where he dribbled up the blueprint of his NBA dream.
"I just wanted to work as hard as I could to be the best player that I can be," he said. "Going into Clemson, nothing was promised to me, nobody said that you're going to start from day one."
In four years at Clemson, Hammonds played in 134 games averaging about 11 points and 3.5 rebounds. He went undrafted.
"If I said it wasn't a disappointment I'd be lying to myself," he said.
Hammonds graduated with an architecture degree, but instead, he designed an overseas career. Last month he won the Bosnian League title.
"It was actually a great season," he said. "I think that besides just winning the title, this was a group of guys, like I said, it was kind of like the atmosphere we had here in high school."
Hammonds is a free agent in search of his next destination. And if that's the NBA, he knows exactly what he'll do when he gets there.
"Put my hardhat on everyday, just like a construction worker," he said. "Just go into work. Each and everyday of my life, just go work as hard as I can, do all the little things that it takes to become a better player."