Every young basketballer dreams of playing in the NBA one day but unfortunately only few make it to the top. Young prodigy Gabriel Nnnadi,13, believes he has what it takes to reach the summit of the game.
Unlike most basketballers, Gabriel started playing when he was already ten years-old and soon he was introduced to his first basketball team, Winchester Royals, via his mum’s work colleague and since then Gabe has remained committed to the sport and even gone on to play nationally at various tournaments in the country. Practice makes perfect, and that certainly applies to Gabe, who trains for a sapping 9 hours a week, including an hour every morning before the school bell.
When asked on who inspired him into basketball, Gabe said ‘Michael Jordan – because he worked so hard to get where he is’.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors in sport is controlling your nerves before important matches but unlike most people, Gabe is confident with himself and says ‘ I think to myself that I can be better than anyone else on the pitch, if I believe I can be’.
When asked about his strengths and weaknesses, Gabe explained ‘I would describe myself as a person who can lead a team confidently. My weakness is losing my positivity if I make a mistake. My strength is handling the basketball and dribbling to the opposite end of the court’. When asked on why more young people (like Gabe himself) should get out there and try out basketball, Gabe said ‘it keeps you really fit because there is so much to do, from jumping to dribbling; basketball has so much to discover and learn from, that I still haven’t yet!’ Rather expectedly, Gabe’s one priceless wish is to ‘simply be in the NBA!’ (National Basketball Association.)
Sacrifices play a huge part when it comes to sports and parents are always in the heart of the action when it comes to driving and taking their child to tournaments. Gabe says ‘I give up my precious time with friends and social life and I wake up so early (even when I’m tired) to get to school early and play basketball. My parents literally drive me everywhere, they even flew me to Manchester to play in the South England tournament. Gabe also believes that whilst he continues to play basketball, he must achieve high academically and as a result he finishes his homework on the day it is set to avoid any stress.
Finally, when asked on whether he has what it takes to become a professional basketballer in the future, he says ‘yes, because I won’t ever give up and I will try to reach the highest level possible’.