DeMar DeRozan was exposed to the lush life well before he ever became a Toronto Raptor or made his first million. As a teenager on an AAU team sponsored by hip-hop mogul Percy “Master P” Miller, DeRozan fostered a still-close relationship with Miller’s son, rapper/actor Romeo, and would spend weekends at the Miller home, surrounded by a level of opulence that belied his modest existence back home in Compton, Calif.
Visits to shopping malls with Romeo usually ended with a swarm of fans trailing them every step of the way. DeRozan got to sit in on video and movie shoots. He learned about the work required to earn and maintain celebrity – and decided that the chase for fame would never outpace the drive to succeed.