Bill Bradley - Privileged Childhood
Growing up in Crystal City, a small town near St. Louis, Missouri, Bradley was relatively privileged among his peers, who mostly came from working-class families.
His father Warren was a banker and his mother Susan had worked as a teacher. They provided their only child with many material advantages and encouraged him to excel at school and in extracurricular activities. When he began playing basketball at age nine, Bradley was happy to have found a common interest with his classmates. He would skip the family's annual winter stay in Palm Springs, Florida and began pouring his energies into basketball.
Crystal City High School's Coach Popp broke with tradition when he put Bradley on the varsity team as a freshman in 1959. This earned his player some resentment, but it was soon dissipated by his contributions on the court. Not only had Bradley almost reached his full height of six feet, five inches, he showed exceptional shooting skills and a willingness to pass the ball. With a total of 3,068 points over the course of four years, he became known as the best high school basketball player in Missouri history, was twice named as an All-American, and led the Crystal City team to the Missouri State Final Four three times.