Cowboy Diaries: Cory Solomon -- Ditched His Hoop Hopes for Cattle Dreams

True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it.

Name: Cory Solomon Age: 21 Hometown: Prairie View, Texas Event: Tie-Down Roping

I started riding horses when I was four years old up in Prairie View. I continued training from middle school through high school and then to college rodeo.

My favorite part about rodeoing is making it to the professional level and getting to go to the NFR (National Finals Rodeo), because you watch it as a kid and it's like a dream come true once you make it. I made the NFR last year for the first time, and I'm currently third in the world.

I've been to Rodeo Houston three times. First time wasn't good. Last year was good but then I got sick during the semifinals -- I picked up some kind of virus and I was at the doctor all day with the flu or something -- so it didn't end up good.

When I'm not rodeoing, me, my brothers and my dad have a cattle business up in Prairie View where we haul rodeo stuff, so I'm actually working with them a lot. In my spare time, I like to watch a lot of movies and play a bunch of basketball. I'm a shooter because I'm too small to be going down low.

If I wasn't rodeoing and knew that I wasn't going to be successful at it, I would maybe try really hard at basketball, but from four years old to now, I mostly put all of my effort into rodeo. I played basketball in high school -- I played the one, two and three positions -- but I quit my junior year because it kind of got hard to do both.

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