The players at the FIBA U-19 Basketball World Cup 2017 were reminded that basketball is much more than just a game as they received important life lessons on a range of topics from two former long-time successful international stars.
Nigeria’s Olumide Oyedeji was joined by Boniface N’Dong of Senegal in addressing all 16 teams in Cairo as ambassadors of the Players’ Workshop on the first rest day at the tournament.
Over four sessions spread out over the day. N’Dong discussed having basic knowledge of finances and the importance of having neutral and professional financial advice as well as fair play in the game.
Oyedeji, talked with the players about cultural awareness and professionalism. He urged them to leave their comfort zone to be successful; learn a language; adjust to new cultures and not have them adjust to you.
He emphasized always being positive and displaying confidence and shared one of his philosophies: “Share the ball, share the blame, and share the glory.”
“This is what FIBA is all about, all about its players,” Oyedeji said. “It’s a great feeling seeing these young men listening to you and enjoying themselves and picking things from you. They might not appreciate it now, but I can guarantee you definitely it will have an impact later in their lives.”
The former Nigerian national team star Oyedeji – a member of FIBA Players’ Commission – drew upon careers that spanned at least one stop in the NBA lasted over a decade and saw him play in 17 countries.
FIBA is pushing to implement similar workshops at all world events and a Players’ Workshop will take place in Udine at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2017.
Gergana Branzova and Kata Honti, both participants of the Time-Out Project, will speak about communication and presentation skills; interacting with media; and social media at their workshop on 24 July, which will be shown live on YouTube.