NAIROBI, Kenya, June 28 – Golden State Warriors power forward and two-time NBA winner James Michael McAdoo achieved one of his dreams when he set up a basketball camp in Kenya at Nairobi’s Kawangware estate.
The world basketball icon is offering a basketball clinic to over 130 children hailing from the region and its environs.
The four day camp whose theme is ‘One Died For All’ is based at the World Hope Centre and offers basketball clinic with a Christian touch.
“My life was impacted by a similar camp I attended when I was 11 years old, from then I purposed to do the same to other unfortunate kids in the US and around the world,” said Michael who jetted into the country on Friday.
The Kawangware camp that kicked off yesterday and will run till Thursday has two sessions every day for the children who have been fully kitted by the player.
The morning sessions are for children between 10-14 years and the afternoon session is being attended by players between 15-18 years.
“I have taken my NBA off season to come here and teach these lovely children basketball which is a game I so love and cherish. Part of the programme is to introduce them to the basics like shooting, dribbling, ball control and handling.”
“Beside these, I am here to introduce them to our Lord Jesus Christ and to strengthen their faith and knowledge because without Jesus I wouldn’t have reached the heights I have done in my basketball career,” he said.
Michael first assignment when he arrived at the World Hope Centre yesterday was to assign the children their teams where they will operate in the entire period of the clinic.
“Each team has two coaches, one local and the other is from the US, it is from these teams that the children will be taught the various basketball techniques as we compare the Kenyan way of play and the US way of the game,” he explained.
The 2009 US Basketball Male Athlete of the Year says he is here to give the children hope and nurture their talent. He believes Kenyan players too have potential to play in the NBA just like other notable players that have come from Sudan, Nigeria and other African countries who have made it big in NBA.
“We want the children to dream big, we want them to have a strong work ethics that will propel them to those heights they are laying their dreams, we want them to be totally dedicated to the dreams.”
Michael has pledged to make a follow up on the children he is training and he is hopeful that the Kenyan camp he has started will be annual.
“The whole idea here is to establish relationships with these children as we lead them toward their passionate as well as to Christ, to successfully achieve this we will have to strive and make follows up and probably link them with any exchange programme if opportunities arises,” he said.
Even though Michael is a two time NBA champion (2015 and 2017), that does not reflect in his humble state of life that is bordered in Christianity.
But he admits being an NBA champion with the best team in the world makes him feels totally blessed.
“The two times we won the NBA trophy we truly worked hard as a team, we had positive spirit in both occasions and were dedicated to our training, we had a strong work ethics,” Michael said while hinting that he has no plan to leave the Golden State Warriors any soon but would not object if any attractive offer comes his way.
Even though Michael studied history at the University of North Carolina, he is not planning to pursue that upon retirement from basketball and instead has made up his mind to carry on with the camp and spread it to other parts of the world.
Kenya is the second nation after US that Michael is holding the camp. He says he was able to come to Kenya after they were linked by World Hope Board Member Roy Mark.
His entourage that has 40 personnel including his parents Ronnie McAdoo and mother Janet, also offers medical camp at the venue. He also travelled with a music rap group who are entertaining children at the local schools around Nairobi.