Impressive Journeys For Gee Scott Sr. & Gee Scott Jr.

August 21, 2018
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When Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle as the new head coach for the Seahawks in 2010, his first mission was to change the culture of the franchise. He clearly accomplished that goal, turning the team around and leading them to a Super Bowl in his fourth season, but the impact went far beyond wins and losses.

“I’ve got to be honest, that mentality he brought didn’t just resonate with the players,” Gee Scott Sr. explains. “It resonated with the coaches. It resonated with the upstairs.

“It even resonated with the guy who was cleaning cars out there in the parking lot.”

Scott Sr. knows because he was that guy cleaning cars out there in the parking lot.

“That guy got that feeling of winning forever and always competing,” he said, referring to himself.

For 11 years, Scott Sr. cleaned those cars until his life took a different path.

“Long story short, being around the Pete Carroll regime and that Super Bowl champion team changed my mentality,” Scott Sr. says. “It changed the way I would think. I just always felt like I wanted more.

“I think it was that motivation that made me understand, ‘Wow, OK. I can see Russell Wilson as a rookie. I see Richard Sherman as a rookie. I see Kam Chancellor as a rookie. I see Bobby Wagner as a rookie. I see all of these athletes as rookies. What did they do? Were they special when they got here? Sure, they were special to make it to the NFL.’ But what made them really special – and here’s the secret, I’ll go ahead and give it to you – it’s what they did early in the morning.”

Gee Scott Jr. and his brother, Zion, helping their dad wash cars.

Scott Sr. saw those young players compete to see who could get to the facility the earliest while displaying a consistency that bordered on extreme like Wilson parking in the exact same parking spot every single day.

“All of the guys would come into work and it was all about consistency,” Scott Sr. explains. “My point is this, I learned then, I need to be more consistent in what I do in the morning and I need to be better with that because then I can teach that in my household.”

So, he instituted an early-morning routine into his own life, something he keeps up to this day.

“Up early every single day,” he says. “There is no sleeping in on Saturday. There is no sleeping in on Sunday. Up early all of the time.”

Early for Scott Sr is 5:30 a.m.

“I go drink a glass of water and apple cider vinegar,” he says. “That is my morning routine. I get up and I get going. The goal is, I can’t lay back down. Whatever it is, I’m up and at them. Now, it involves a two to three-mile run every single day. It didn’t start off with a two to three-mile run. Just waking up early and going right to the fridge and getting some water and apple cider vinegar, that consistency right there started me off.

“That changed the way I started to compete in life.”

And eventually, Scott was presented with a chance that would change his life when he was offered a radio spot on ESPN710 Seattle.

“I lucked up,” he says. “You can call it luck, you can call it preparation meeting opportunity. Call it whatever you want to, but I had an opportunity to do radio and I grabbed onto it.

“Once I started doing radio, I went to school to be an auctioneer,” he continues. “Once I did that, I had an unbelievable opportunity to do things for the Seahawks by being their emcee. I now have a show on the Seahawks’ website called ‘Driving With Gee.’ It all comes back to those mornings in the parking lot and seeing what successful habits of them were.”

And since it worked so well for him, he figured it would work well for his son, Gee Scott, Jr., who was struggling in school at the time.

“I thought, if my morning can be better by getting up and doing a routine, then his morning needs to be better by doing a routine,” Scott Sr. says. “I had him get workouts early in the morning, at six in the morning, so he could be better at school.

Gee Scott Jr. with one of his early workouts.

“Instead of going to school still sleepy, groggy and tired, by the time he got to school, he had already worked out. I noticed the trend in his grades started to trend up just because of the mornings and his workouts.”

And his father also made sure he was held accountable.

“He was getting in trouble with his teachers all of the time, always getting in trouble,” Scott Sr. says. “He had to get signed off from his teachers that he had had a good week. If he had a good week then he gets to play video games and gets his privileges for the weekend. If he does not have that signed-off sheet by his teacher, he gets no privileges and no video games.

“That was his first lesson in, ‘I’ve got to put in work. I’ve got to do the right things and start to be respectful.’ Those things every single week, the reinforcement of getting that letter signed off every Friday was the very beginning of hitting those goals.”

Scott Jr. never complained once, according to his father.

“That’s the truth,” he says. “He never complained one time. He trusted me the entire time. After school, he would come home, do his homework and then I would take him up to LA Fitness and let him play basketball against the grown-ups…That’s where he would go every single day after school. He didn’t go and play video games with his buddies, but again, he never complained.”

These days, Scott Jr. has a reputation as a mature, well-spoken young man, something his father says would surprise authority figures who knew him when he was younger.

“There was a point in time when he was younger when he’d get in trouble,” Scott Sr. says. “He got in trouble in school, he got in trouble outside of school. There weren’t many people who really thought that he would turn around.”

But Scott Sr. knew it could be done because he did it himself.

“It was no different than how I was growing up,” he says. “The only difference is my parents shipped me off to military school. So, in the sixth grade, I was at Howe Military School. I remember what changed me. What changed me there was I needed goals that I could attain. With that knowledge with my son, Junior, I said, ‘OK, I’ve got to give him goals to attain.’ Little goals, little by little. A lot of times, kids stray when they don’t have goals to hit. There were a lot of people who didn’t believe in him. Him believing in me and hitting those goals.”

As it was with his father, basketball was Scott Jr.’s first love. His father played college basketball at Tri-State University – now Trine University – in Angola, Ind.

“The one thing I kept in the back of my mind was that I always believed that I picked the wrong sport,” he says. “I only got to 6-1.

“For him, I knew, ‘You’re not going to get 6-7, 6-8, so maybe in high school, you’ll play football.’”

But at the time, basketball did provide one of those goal for Scott Jr. to shoot for, making the AAU Seattle power Rotary squad.

“It was a goal for him to make that, so he really worked hard so he could make the sixth-grade AAU team,” Scott Sr. says. “He worked his tail off and he made the team.

“Then, he wasn’t a starter. He would have to come off the bench. So instead of having, ‘Hey, the coach is sleeping on you or he doesn’t understand your game.’ It was, ‘No, you’re going to make that coach put you in the game. You’re going to make it to where that coach has no choice but to put you in the game.’ Eventually, toward the end of the year, he gets to the point where he starts a few games. Then, he goes into the seventh-grade year and has a better year.”

But, just as his father guessed, football eventually emerged.

His father was initially reluctant when Scott Jr. asked to play as an eighth-grader. At the time, the family lived in an apartment near French Field and on Friday nights, Gee and his younger brother Zion, would head over to check out the football games.

“A buddy of mine would get them in for free,” Scott Sr. explains. “They’d go and see the football, after the game they would throw the football around to each other.”

Scott Jr. would tell his father about his hands and urge him to come watch. Eventually, Scott Sr. let his son play organized football. While he didn’t immediately see the potential, it didn’t take all that long before he did.

“It really didn’t stand out to me until his first jamboree and I said, ‘Oh, my goodness. It might be something good,’” he laughs. “I thought, ‘OK, we might have something here.’”

Gee Scott Jr. with Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin

Scott Jr. used his father’s connections with the Seahawks to form his own connections with players. He became very close with Golden Tate during the former Irish star’s time in Seattle, but that was before Scott Jr. was serious about football and was more about playing video games than playing football. As he started to take football more seriously, he’s had the opportunity to train with and learn from guys like Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice.

“One thing about him, he asks a lot of questions,” his father says. “He’s not one of those kids who thinks he knows it all. He’ll ask questions all of the time. He picks the brains of those guys.

“He has those relationships himself.”

By the time Scott Jr. completed his freshman season at Eastside Catholic, he had already cemented himself as “The Next Big Thing” at receiver in the state of Washington. And while the program has helped Scott Jr. continue to emerge as one of the most talented prospects in the entire Class of 2020, his father looks at how the school has helped his son grow off the field.

“I do have to give credit to his school, Eastside Catholic,” Scott Sr. says. “That school and that environment is really helping the methods that he’s getting at home. At the end of the day, as parents you can’t do it all. It takes a village. What they’re doing over at Eastside Catholic complements what I’m doing here in the household very well.

“If I tell you one minute what I preach in my household and then I tell you that Eastside Catholic complements that very well, wouldn’t you think that a Notre Dame is something that is definitely high on the priority list?”
- Gee Scott Sr. on how Notre Dame lines up with his values

“The school curriculum, the schoolwork. You’ve got homework every night. You’re being held accountable. You’ve got to get your grades done the right way. I love the fact that they have Mass. It doesn’t matter if anybody believes in God or does not, you get in there and it’s the sense of faith. That’s the most important part; that he gets in there for Mass and the consistency that Eastside Catholic brings on the all-of-the-time basis that I really appreciate and it complements what I’m doing here at home.”

 

While Scott Jr. is still in the beginning of his journey as a player and a person, he’s already earned an extraordinary amount of respect from his father.

“Words can’t explain how proud of him I am. I think what he has done has already surpassed any of my expectations. I think what he continues to do amazes me every single day. It’s not what he does on the football field. You know what, he’s great. On the football field, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s a technician at his position. It’s the decisions that he makes off the field what continues to impress me.

“I’ve been around an NFL franchise for 15 years. I’ve seen what works, I’ve seen what doesn’t work. I’ve seen some of the most talented players not make it in the NFL because of the problems off the field.

“I told him before, ‘You don’t have to be a professional athlete to act like a professional.’ That’s what he hangs his hat on. He’s tried to be a professional every single day. His decision-making off the field is what is impresses me.”

 
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