The actor has been putting his atlethic background forward, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers champ be all he can be.
Hardwick was a really strong baseball, basketball, and football player in the early years of his life, and was later rewarded with a football scholarship to the University of Georgia. An injury may have cut his NFL dreams short, but it was athletes reaching out to him that helped dig back out the inner athlete in the Power star.
“Kyrie asked me, I want to say maybe January without giving too much of our relationship away, ‘how did you embrace and stop running from all that you could be,’ and I thought first of all to be 24 years old and ask me that was pretty powerful. Who you ask, how you ask, and what you ask is huge.”
Although Hardwick had been in contact with the basketball player for about a year at that time, this experience stood out the most to him. He sees Irving as a millennial in this generation who knows how to communicate and is proud to watch Irving become who he is today.
“My answer to him, which I again will not share, is that he did a great job of hearing that, and taking that, and it’s showing in his work,” Hardwick said at the ABFF.
Three months ago, at the American Black Film Festival Awards, Hardwick discussed the importance of mentorship. Critically-acclaimed actor Denzel Washington and his wife helped mold him throughout his journey in the acting field. Washington inspired him to be an actor, took him on as a mentor, and watching his ability to do so helped the successful actor pour his talents onto the lives of others.
“Denzel taught me very well. I figured out to sit back and observe first. Figure out the Derek Luke’s, Nate Parker’s and Omari Hardwick’s you can help and how you want to help them. He helped all three of us differently. But all three of us were aided. I have kids that I mentor and I try to deal with them all differently. Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan are not the same. Phil Jackson dealt with them very differently. So Denzel has taught me that. He taught me shut up and listen, watch people.”