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Former Pro Basketball Player Goes From Homeless To Published Author

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A man who once slept in cardboard boxes on the streets of Dallas is now a published author and business owner.

He hopes his story is an inspiration to anyone looking to beat the power of addiction.

Nathaniel Peavy is 45-years-old now. His short sleeve shirt and pants are crisp. His white sneakers look

A few years ago, he showed up for a job interview wearing a pair of pants someone had given him. They were four inches too big.

He was homeless.

"I'm that guy that was under the bridge. It's just really rough. Really rough," he said.

As a 20-year-old, Peavy had a promising career in basketball. He was playing in the Dallas Mavericks Summer League.  Partying after a game one night in San Antonio, he was arrested for drugs. One of the young men he was with turned him in.

"I was with the informant. But, I blame myself for the choices that I made," Peavy said.

Peavy left prison after seven years and lived on the streets.

It was difficult to find a job.

"People can look at you and see if you have holes in your shoes and I've had that. No socks. Wet socks. Nice shirt on. Torn up pants. And, who's going to hire me?" he asked.

Tammy Kling, an author of more than 50 books encouraged him to write.  "I teach writing classes to the homeless. The main reason is writing helps you heal," she said.

Peavy pulled up a chapter from his book on his laptop and started to read.  "My most vivid memory as a child when when my mom and dad had gotten divorced," he read.

Peavy called his book, "The Secret to Overcoming Addiction."

"Nathaniel's book is about addressing anything that's covering up the pain inside," Kling explained.

Kling didn't write it. Peavy did. She only helped him edit it.

"When I looked at his book, I was in tears. I mean phenomenal book," Kling said.

Peavy said he was homeless, on and off, for at least ten years in different cities and different states.  But he remembers waking up one morning on the corner of MLK and Harwood in Dallas and seeing a sign that said, "Never Give Up."

Now, Peavy makes signs as the owner of a graphics company in Mississippi.

He's back in Dallas until the weekend to visit old friends and places where he used to sleep on the streets of Dallas four years ago.

"It's a homecoming. It's a healing," he said.  "God has allowed me to do what I do and I'm thankful. Very thankful," he said.

Peavy's dreams to play for the NBA were dashed, but he says he's satisfied just being peaceful and content.

He's still a Mavericks fan though, and while he was in town went to see them play.

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