Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

Jason Richardson loved hockey first

Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson has done exceptionally well playing a sport that wasn’t his first love.

He has become wealthy and famous, but playing pro basketball wasn’t in his dreams even as he headed into his teenage years.

His feet just got too big for his hockey skates.

“I really wanted to play in the NHL,” Richardson said. “At the time, I think there were only two or three African-American players. I wanted to be the fourth one.”

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Richardson, who turns 30 on Thursday, was exposed to hockey growing up in Saginaw, Mich.

His mother bought him skates one Christmas, and he taught himself how to skate at local rinks and on frozen ponds. The pick-up games he played in back then were on ice, with a wooden stick he curved and shaved himself.