Born In Jamaica
Patrick Ewing was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1962. His father, Carl, was a mechanic at the time, and his mother, Dorothy, was a homemaker. Dorothy conceived of a better life for her children in the United States, and she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971 to pave the way for a family move there. She took a job as a kitchen worker in a hospital, and brought her family over one by one. In 1975, at twelve years of age, Patrick Ewing joined his mother and four of his siblings who had immigrated before him. His father eventually found work in a rubber hose factory.
Ewing had never even seen a basketball before his arrival in the United States, much less played the game that was later to make him famous. Soccer is the sport most played in Jamaica, and that was the game he played as a youngster. But he became fascinated by basketball only weeks into his new life as an American. Walking past a playground where other children played basketball, he would often stop and watch. One day, he was asked by the other kids if he wanted to join a game, and he began what was to become a career. Playing basketball did not come easily for the future superstar. "I knew that it was something I'd have to work at," he later told Roy S. Johnson in the New York Times.