In today’s episode of the Mind Set Game, I sat down with Alex Owumi.
Alexander William O. Owumi is a Nigerian professional basketball player and author. Owumi became the subject of widespread media attention following his time with the Libyan team Al-Nasr owned by the family of Muammar Gaddafi joining the team shortly before the outbreak of the Libyan Civil War in 2011. He currently plays for the Surrey Scorchers of the British Basketball League (BBL). As an author, he has written three books, including an autobiography focusing on his time in Libya.
Originally from Lagos, Owumi moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a child. He played football and basketball from an early age and at the college level, but subsequently focused on basketball at the Community College of Rhode Island and was named National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American. He played his final two seasons at Alcorn State. Immediately after college, Owumi failed to attract the attention of National Basketball Association(NBA) teams and played his rookie season in France with AL Roche-la-Molière, with whom he was named league MVP.
After a brief spell in the Premier Basketball League (PBL) with the Manchester Millrats, he signed with KK Lirija in Macedonia but left the team after one season after facing unpleasant playing conditions and racist abuse, accepting a lucrative offer with Al-Nasr in Libya. When conflict erupted, Owumi was trapped in Mutassim Gaddafi’s apartment without food or electricity for several days in the midst of the violence before crossing the border into Egypt, where he was arrested and detained. After his release, before returning home, he won the league championship with El-Olympi. Following his traumatic experience in Libya, he began competing in the British Basketball League (BBL) firstly with the Worcester Wolves, with whom he won a league title, and then the Lions.
In This Episode We Discuss:
- How did the situation of playing in Libya come about?
- Family raised fears of Alex going to Libya
- Realisation that the team was run by the Gaddafi’s
- Pressure of winning
- Living in Libya during the Arab Spring
- What psychological steps did you use to overcome this bad situation?
- Do you think that situation made you into a better person?
- Dealing with hand you were dealt
Links & Resources
- Alex Owumi on Twitter
- Book: Qaddafi’s Point Guard: The Incredible Story of a Professional Basketball Player Trapped in Libya’s Civil War
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Special thanks to Alex for joining me this week. Until next time!