- National Teams
NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon continues to get more involved with the British game following the announcement of his own camp in Birmingham, along with plans for an academy.
With his daughter having moved to the UK for her studies at the University of Birmingham last year, Olajuwon has been seen around the city, including an impromptu appearance at the university practice where he went one on one with a player.
Now, his relationship with the city has been made more formal, with the announcement of the inaugural Hakeem Olajuwon City of Birmingham Basketball Club Summer Camp.
The camp will be the first of its kind in the City of Birmingham, and will be for all players on a residential and day basis. In addition to the presence of the NBA Hall of Fame inductee, the organisers have engaged coaches from Houston recommended by him, together with some of the UK’s leading Coaches in basketball development.
“One Monday evening I went to Nechells Wellbeing Centre, and what I saw there so impressed me that, on the invitation of the club I returned the following Saturday,” Olajuwon said.
“It confirmed to me that there is a thriving basketball community in Birmingham and the City of Birmingham Basketball Club is something I want to be involved in. Seeing all those young people, boys and girls, together with coaches and parents supporting all that was going on is how the game must be.”
The Hakeem Olajuwon City of Birmingham Basketball Academy, still in early stages of planning, will be based at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School in Birmingham, as they explore the possibility of attaining AASE status so they can compete in the likes of the EABL and WEABL.
“I am proud to be a partner with the City of Birmingham Basketball Club,” Olajuwon continued.
“We’re looking to progress the ambitions of the club starting with the Hakeem Olajuwon City of Birmingham Basketball Club Summer Camp, and the Hakeem Olajuwon City of Birmingham Basketball Club Academy for post 16-18 players, where education will be every bit as important as basketball. I look forward to seeing everybody at the camp, at the academy and around the club.”
The camp will take place at the home of City of Birmingham, Nechells Wellbeing Centre, and The Heartlands Academy, between Monday 25th and Friday 29th July 2016, and include 2 Houston based Coaches from Elevation Skills, Donte Mathis and Kevin Gamble, GB Olympic Captain Drew Sullivan amongst others.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the club to partner a true legend of the game,” said City of Birmingham Basketball’s Managing Director, Rob Palmer.
“We feel extremely fortunate that Hakeem has chosen to work alongside COB and we look forward to the range of opportunities this will create for young people in our city.”
More information can be found at CoB’s official website.