Showing athletic gift and interest in various sports from a young age, Charlie Ward was born on October 12, 1970 in Thomasville, Georgia. Having his own father as the coach, Ward starred on the football and basketball teams of his high school, showing the signs of a star from the start and led his team in rebounding for three years as a point guard.
Ward’s father was not the only one to acknowledge his talent and soon, Ward attracted Florida State Football’s coach Bobby Bowden’s attention as well. Rising up to Bowden’s challenge of improving his grades, Ward joined the FSU in 1990 after spending one year at Tallahassee Community College.
Starting off the Florida State’s basketball and football programs at the bottom of the hierarchy, Ward eventually made his way up through his hard work and perseverance, becoming the starting point for the Seminoles and leading the team to the Sweet 16 in 1992. Later that fall, Ward was honoured with the position of starting quarterback for the same team.
On both, the basketball court and the football field, Ward emerged as a steadfast leader who rose to every occasion. Using his basketball agility to deceive the opposing football defenders and replicating his football toughness in basketball, the athlete managed to maintain a balance between both sports. Adapting the same techniques, the Seminoles won their first five games with an average of 46-3 and proceeded to becoming National Champions by defeating Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.
A vital part of the team, Ward had a 70% completion average and averaged approximately 6 yards every time he rushed the ball. Setting school records with 27 touchdown passes and 3,371 yards of total offense, Ward became the first Heisman, winning the trophy by a margin of 1,622 points, and National Champion winner since 1976.
However, shocking news came in for Charlie Ward when he was not drafted for the NFL as the pro scouts did not feel very confident about his short height and did not think he had a great arm either. Nevertheless, Ward continued to move up on the ladder of success and was drafted by the New York Knicks in the 1994 NBA Draft upon his graduation from the Florida State. He was also selected by the Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Yankees in 1993 and 1994 despite having no history of college baseball.
Ward’s NBA season started off on a rough note and the injured player only managed 4 minutes on average in the 10 games that he was able to play. He was also then excluded from the Knick’s post-season roster. In the sophomore season, he appeared in 62 games averaging 3.9 points and 12.7 minutes per game.
By the end of the 1967 season, Ward had managed to earn a spot in the starting lineups and scored an average of 8.3 points and 6 assists in the 21 games that he started.
Apart from his great contribution to the world of sports, Charlie Ward has always given back to the community as well and has worked hundreds of hours for charity organisations. He also hosts various basketball camps for young boys and girls and organizes an annual charity golf tournament for the benefit of the March of Dimes foundation. Additionally, the athlete was also named the official spokesperson for Florida’s ‘Born to Read’ program.