NBA star's advice to local ballers

HARARE - Visiting National Basketball Association star Luc Mbah A Moute is of the philosophy that they are no limitations for a willing soul and believes that whatever somebody out there can do anyone else can still do it if not even better.

Mbah A Moute is currently in the country on the invitation of local academy iBelieve Sports Academy under the auspices of its director Allan Mavunga and has been running a camp for local aspiring players at Eaglesvale School in Harare.

A prince in his native Cameroon in a village near the capital Yaoundé, the forward has had the pleasure to guard most of the NBA stars form towering forwards to diminutive sharp shooters with impunity in defence.

Dubbed the Luc Mbah A Moute Top 50 Basketball Camp, the Cameroonian has been spreading the gospel to the youngsters that determination and hard work can take them to where he is at the moment.

He is currently on the books of  Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA in the United States of America.

“I think the first thing is to have a role model. In Cameroon before I became an NBA player there was a guy called (Ruben Bertrand) Boumtje Boumtje who became an NBA player before me so I think when the kids see somebody just like them, (an) African player, African brother who’s an NBA player it gives them motivation,” Mbah A Moute told reporters upon arrival in the country on Friday.

“It gives them hope and that’s my message when I talk to the kids I always tell them that if I can do it, you can do it. It’s just a matter of working hard and being dedicated and now there’s a lot of opportunities.”

Boumtje a retired Cameroonian professional basketball player and a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington DC played as a centre. He holds career averages of 9.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game during his college basketball days at Georgetown University and ranks fourth on the all-time blocked shots list with 255 behind Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. His playing career, however, came to an unfortunate end as he retired in November 2011 due to a heart condition aged 33.

“I’m hoping to make this a yearly event and if there’s good players then we wanna (sic) help them and if there’s any other way we can help grow the game here in partnership with iBelieve Sports and the federation then why not,” Mbah A Moute added.

“I don’t know what to expect (on local players in camp) because I don’t know the talent level here. I think from what I can tell it’s just like anyway across Africa, we have guys that are talented but they lack some training, they lack some skill work so our goal is to come here and give them a little bit of  basic fundamentals.

“Stuff they can work on their own or with some of the coaches so that they continue to get better but I think throughout Africa the situation as far infrastructure, people, coaches and all that stuff to teach the kids is the same so I’m looking forward to see what is here so hopefully, we can judge the level and put a plan for the year ahead as to how we can help the kids here.”

Mbah A Moute sums up his participation in the NBA as some form of luck which every other aspiring basketball player can encounter and he hopes to be able to bring to Zimbabwe some of the current stars from America on his next visit.

“I’m coming in as like the eyes to see how it is and make sure how we can put a plan together hopefully we can make headway and we bring NBA players...other NBA superstars here to come and check it out,” he said.

“I think everybody has his luck it’s only like 400 players in NBA and every year you got about thousands of guys trying to make it to the NBA so it’s your own luck but for me when I started in Cameroon then I went to a high school ... I was there for a couple of years then I went the University of UCLA which is a big university in California...I was there for three years then I got drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks.... everybody has his own different tire of blood so whenever you get a chance to play in NBA it’s always a blessing.”


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