NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - South Bronx native and former basketball great Felipe Lopez credits failing to live up to other's expectations for success later in life.
While his NBA career never lived up to the hype that preceeded it, Lopez has no regrets.
"A lot of people had a lot of expectations. People expected me to reach a height that you don't even know --which height is that?'" Lopez said during FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York.'
His story is told in a new documentary ESPN 30 for 30 'The Dominican Dream.'
"If you look at the 1980s and the 1990s and you talk about the Dominican Repubic, it was with a sense of negativity. To be able come into a circle and bringing out some great news, playing not just baseball but a basketball player... it was ground breaking- especially for those of us who thought Dominicans couldn't play basketball," said Lopez.
The former McDonald's All-American and St. John's University star was traded several times in the NBA before his career fizzled out.
The story is played out in the documentary directed by Jonathan Hock, but it's so much more than that, Lopez said.
'It's a story about immigration. It's a story about many families who have come to this country looking for the opportunity to be successful. To give back to the country This is what drove me to do this story," Lopez said.
Now an ambassador for NBA Cares, Lopez also runs an outreach program in the South Bronx and the Dominican Republic.
'The Dominican Dream' airs April 30 at 9 p.m. on ESPN.