Hasheem Thabeet worked as a bouncer

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Hasheem Thabeet did what he could to help his family. His father, an architect, had died of complications from diabetes, so Thabeet, at age 17 and all of 7 feet, found work as a bouncer outside a nightclub in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He was an intimidating presence at the door, blocking ill-advised attempts to get inside — a skill set that, as it turned out, would prove invaluable in the not-so-distant future. But he also harbored a secret. “When a fight started,” Thabeet said, “you wouldn’t see me.” … Thabeet spoke five languages, but academic transcript issues landed him at three prep schools in three states before he settled for good at Cypress Community Christian School outside of Houston. He was a project — he was used to kicking the ball with his feet instead of shooting it with his hands — but UConn coach Jim Calhoun was willing to take the risk. Thabeet’s potential was immense.