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Drillers Clubhouse Manager Not Letting Setbacks Bring Him Down

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

It's not the most glamorous job, but Tulsa Drillers Clubhouse Manager Brady Woods has seen the glamorous lifestyle of pro sports up close.

Behind the scenes of a Drillers game, before during and after, Woods does all the little things that matter most. He sets the water coolers in the dugout, gets the practice balls ready, sets the jerseys, get snacks ready, drops off mail for players, will calls orders, does laundry afterward.

But the back story of Woods includes the highs and lows of life. The low point was finding out, as a postal service worker, he had a rare eye disease called Eales.

"It only hits two percent of the population. It went from my left eye, which I'm totally blind in, to my right eye. I had surgery and I was totally blind for 11 months," Woods said.

He regained sight in his right eye but is still blind in his left.

He sought a job in his first love of sports and contacted a college friend - the Heat's Clearance Weatherspoon – and learned the visiting locker room attendant job was open.

"It was exciting. At first, I was star struck, but it became a serious job immediately,” Woods said.

He got to see the stars and deal with their requests - like Michael Jordan with the Wizards.

"We had to lace up his shoes every quarter. He wore a different pair of sneakers every quarter," he said.

He also saw Scottie Pippen with Portland.

Woods said, "He wanted his coffee at 57 minutes left on the clock - and it had to be 57 minutes exactly. If you put it down a minute before that he would let you know about it."

The job was great - front row views to the finals, pictures with Shaquille O'Neal and Allan Iverson. He even got three championship rings just like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade did.

But the job also wore on him.

Woods lived over an hour and a half away from the Heat's arena, arriving home at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, so he made the decision to switch from the NBA to clubhouse manager at the nearby Class A Palm Beach Cardinals, just as life took another bad turn.

"My son was also diagnosed with epilepsy, and so we had to deal with a lot," Woods said. “And with me losing my eyesight, I knew how it could affect him."

Woods decided to take care of his son full time. Once his son was better, he looked for jobs again after his original position was filled.

Still wanting to work as a clubbie, a call came from Tulsa.

"I had to be here in 10 days, so I packed up everything and the rest is history. I'm here," he said.

Woods is here on his own for the season, but likes the job, likes the Drillers organization and always has family on the mind, so the obstacle of being away isn't as hard.

"It's been rather easy. I come from a family with a lot of support, people that run the show also sacrifice a lot, not being at home, but they understand."

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