Alex Owumi was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to the United States with his family at age eleven. He is one of seven children and in 2008 he graduated from Alcorn State University.
While at Alcorn State, he was twice named Most Valuable Player of the basketball team and served as team captain his senior year. In 2008, Owumi was unclaimed in the NBA draft, but later Alex followed his dream of being a professional basketball player first in France, later in the US minor leagues, Macedonia, Libya, Egypt, and most recently in England. Eventually he signed with Al-Nasr of Libya, a state-run athletic club privately funded by the family of then-Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi.
Alex’s tenure with Al-Nasr was interrupted by the Libyan uprising and resulting civil war. Imprisoned in his Benghazi apartment for more than 2 weeks with no food, phone, Internet, or hope, Alex wondered whether he would make it out of Libya alive. Despite his weakened condition and the dangers lurking in the city, he was able to escape Benghazi and flee the country. Smuggled to a refugee camp in Egypt, he was, much to his surprise, contacted by an Egyptian team seeking his services. And so, in a bizarre, storybook ending, Alex finished the year by helping lead the team to an unlikely league championship, earning Most Valuable Player honours in the process. Alex has spread his message to people all over the world and currently speaks at schools, churches, along with many other places. He currently lives in Worcester and spent the 2013 season playing professional basketball in England for the Worcester Wolves of the British Basketball League. Alex is also is also a full-time writer and is working on his new novel.
During his speaking engagements, Alex provides several inspirational and motivation points to students. His points leave students with the power to accomplish anything they want in life. Alex's speeches guarantee to uplift the mood of students and set them in the right direction to achieve any goal they have in mind.
Below is a video of Alex's Tedx Talk.
"The values we learn in basketball extend way beyond the court. I tell this to my St. Anthony players every day in practice, and here in Alex Owumi's incredible story we see it on full display. The game took this young man all over the world in pursuit of his dreams. Somehow, he found the strength to persevere in an impossible situation, against impossible odds, and emerged a champion. His book is a great basketball story, but it's mostly about the triumph of the human spirit, about what it takes to survive. He can play on my team any day."
– Bob Hurley, Sr., Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Author of 'Chasing Perfect'
"What an adventure it is to tag along with Alex Owumi as he plays his way around the globe! Part sports memoir and part historical thriller, Qaddafi's Point Guard is a truly unique, inspiring tale that reveals just how far one can get on heart and a jump shot—into (and out of) the most amazing and unlikely places."
– Dave Fromm, Author of 'Expatriate Games: My Season of Misadventures in Czech Semi-Pro Basketball'
"After three decades of covering basketball, I'm always in search of the unique story. I found it in Alex Owumi's intriguing tale, which expertly mixes sports and the real world."
– Jack McCallum, Bestselling Author of Dream Team
"How far would you be willing to go to realize a dream that you held dear? Alex Owumi chased his dream of playing pro basketball all over the world, and it nearly cost him his life. Candid, inspiring, and at times harrowing, Qaddafi’s Point Guard is an extraordinary tale of basketball and survival guaranteed to stay with you long after you’ve turned its last page."
– Earl Monroe, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Author of 'Earl the Pearl: My Story'
"This might be the most amazing basketball book I've ever read. In fact, it's not really about basketball at all, but ratheraboutone extraordinary young man and his travel adventures linked to a game that has gone global; that is, into a world that is dangerous, exotic, fascinating, and full of tumult. Most of us have little comprehension of the Middle East or the violent uprising in the region that is now known as the Arab Spring, but following point guard Alex Owumi will drop you into it headfirst. You will feel it, you will hear it. And your heart will beat fast as you root for Alex simply to survive the horrors he confronts. Knowledge and growth and redemption are what Owumi ultimately wins on this very unusual court. That, and the understanding that good people exist everywhere, even especially during dangerous times."– Rick Telander, Bestselling Author of 'Heaven is a Playground'
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