Many people have been curious to know about TJ Ford, a former professional basketball player, who is one of the contestants of Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge. Well, here is what you need to know.
Netflix has released the first five episodes of Squid Game: The Challenge. Based on the blockbuster Korean drama, the new reality competition series follows 456 candidates as they engage in real-life “Squid Game“-inspired activities for a chance to earn $4.56 million.
Having surpassed Andrew Kravis‘ previous record of $2,600,000 from The Million Second Quiz, the reward amount in this contest establishes a new standard as the greatest single cash reward in the history of reality television and game shows. As competitors compete in a series of tough games, their endurance is put to the limit, forcing each player to consider the extent they are willing to go to win.
With the release of the show, we have found that many viewers have been wanting to know about a participant named TJ Ford. Well, here is everything you need to know.
TJ Ford From Squid Game: The Challenge!
Among 456 participants in Squid Game: The Challenge, TJ is one of the most popular contestants. However, the TJ that is featured in the Netflix show is not TJ Ford. His full name is TJ Stukes.
However, we have an idea why so many people are confused. In the show, TJ is introduced as a professional basketball player. That’s it. Many people assumed it was TJ Ford (full name: Terrance Ford Jr.), who played in the NBA for almost a decade.
TJ Ford isn’t a part of Squid Game: The Challenge.
Image Source: Getty Images
After a successful college career at the University of Texas at Austin, TJ Ford was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2003 NBA Draft. During his NBA career, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, and other clubs. As a point guard, Ford was recognized for his agility, court vision, and ability to distribute the ball efficiently.
His career, however, was hampered by a spinal cord injury suffered during a game in 2003, which caused him to lose substantial playing time. Despite his injury, Ford showed tenacity by returning to the floor and competing in the NBA.
However, injuries compelled him to retire from the NBA in 2012 at the age of 28. Nevertheless, TJ Ford remained connected to the sport after retiring from professional basketball by coaching and mentoring young players.
Know About TJ Stukes!
TJ Stukes (@tjstukes68) grew up in the foster care system in both Mount Vernon and the Bronx, New York. With his innate agility and height of 6’8 and weight of 250 pounds, there’s no denying TJ can easily excel in a few children’s activities, such as “Red Light, Green Light.”
In Kansas, he attended Independence Community College and Pittsburg State University, where he met his gorgeous wife, Samantha. They have two children together.
TJ played professional basketball for two decades, the majority of which he spent with the Harlem Wizards. For those who are unfamiliar, the Wizards are a comedic basketball team that tours the United States, aiming to delight fans with basketball tricks and alley-oops. TJ retired in March of 2023.
TJ Stukes retired from basketball earlier this year.
Image Source: Facebook
He is currently an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Northern New Mexico College. TJ’s wife, Samantha, happens to be the head coach of the NNMC women’s basketball team. TJ enjoys spending time with his family and continuing his acting profession in his spare time. He’s appeared in various productions, including an Adidas commercial and Adam Sandler‘s Netflix sports dramedy film Hustle.
Talking about his experience in Squid Game: The Challenge, TJ Stukes told Northern New Mexico College that the show changed his life. He said that the reality competition show pushed him to his limits, noting that it was the most difficult test he had ever faced. He explained,
I played pro for 20 years, and I’ve pushed myself over and over and over again to smash through my ceiling. This was the furthest I’ve ever pushed myself in anything I’ve ever done in my entire life. Just that first game, I curse myself out maybe thousands of times. Pushing myself and hitting that ceiling face first and then smashing through it over and over again, over and over again, in just the first game…