Famed Motivational Speaker Drops by DHD Films
He inspired the New York Giants to upend their 9-7 season, shifting the team’s trajectory away from a lackluster season towards a 2012 Super Bowl Victory. He’s spoken to the likes of Arsenal Football Club, the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, and even walked through the hallowed halls of the FBI to impart his message on our nation’s most elite officers. The message he preaches has long and sinewy limbs, reaching out and taking root in the minds of listeners who are hungry for inspiration. His name is Gian Paul Gonzalez, and his latest audience was none other than the talented minds at DHD Films.
Gian Paul has grown to become one of the nation’s most in-demand public speakers. His origin story is as unlikely as it is endearing. After ending his NBA career, where he played for the Los Angeles Clippers Summer League Team, Gian Paul began to look for a passageway into teaching. His “in” ended up being through tutoring at a juvenile detention center.
Fast forward a few years and Gian Paul finds himself as a beloved World History teacher at Union City High School in New Jersey. Instead of schooling opponents on the court, he was now teaching young minds about Genghis Khan’s Mongol Empire and Galileo’s contributions to astronomy. Gonzalez thought that he had found his ultimate calling. The stars, however, were about to align again, this time guiding him to a larger role. One could even call it a giant role.
Prior to the New York Giants’ Christmas Eve bout with hometown rivals, The New York Jets, Gian Paul received a call from a member of the Giants’ front office. They wanted him to lead a chapel service for their athletes. Team morale was low and there was little hope left for a successful playoff run. As it turns out, a member of the Giants football squad had a connection to an inmate in the very juvenile detention center where Gonzalez had tutored at years before. This intersection between divine intervention and incarceration would act as a catalyst, propelling Gian Paul into his next phase as a motivator in the big leagues.
The chapel service injected life into Gian Paul’s mantra of “All In” – being wholly and truly dedicated to the challenge at hand. To invigorate his message, Gonzalez brought poker chips for all of the players, tasking them with writing their number and their commitment to the team on either side of the chip. Collectively piling all of their chips together, the players could clearly visualize what it looks like to truly be “All In” as a team.
The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl that season, and to this day they keep Gian Paul on the sidelines at every game, whether home or away. His lasting message and inspirational presence have made him a mainstay in the Giants locker room, just as it has opened the door to a bevy of public speaking engagements.
The DHD team was overjoyed to welcome Gian Paul into the studio. At this point in his career, Gonzalez boasts a speaking resume almost as tall as he is, both seemingly standing at 6’4”. Yet his presence is as kind and soft-spoken as his message is large and resounding. His talk to the team was a welcomed, mid-year “pick me up,” pushing us to continue on our quest to make history.
“I wasn’t just inspired but also entertained. His stories of helping students and others were captivating.”
– Peter Johnson
Gian Paul departed that evening to return to Union City, yet the mantra of “All In” that he left us with has never been more apparent throughout the DHD Studio. Lingering like a cloud of smoke, Gonzalez’s message turns energy from potential to kinetic just as it realigns those already in motion onto a better and brighter track. His message was clear, but his challenge was unspoken: How will you make sure to stay “All In” with your team?