Canadian basketball player delivers motivational talk

John Brannen
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Students from from New Glasgow Junior High, Thorburn Consolidated and Temperance Street Elementary listen intently as Canadian basketball player Will Njoku speaks on Tuesday. His talk coincided with NGJH’s wellness-themed conference day. JOHN BRANNEN – THE NEWS

NEW GLASGOW – Standing at nearly seven feet tall, it not surprising that motivational speaker Will Njoku challenged students to reach new heights in their lives.

Njoku delivered a talk to students from New Glasgow Junior High, Thorburn Consolidated and Temperance Street Elementary on Tuesday called ‘Play it SAFE.’

‘Safe’ is an acronym which he uses to emphasize his message. “Set my feet, aim high, follow through, every day,” he said.

While the saying is based on a making a shot in basketball, Njoku has applied it to life off the courts.

“I want to encourage these students to embrace adversity because it builds resilience.”

Born in Ghana, Njoku grew up in Canada, where he pursued his passion in basketball. He played on his high school team and university team at St. Mary’s in Halifax.

In 1994, he was a second round NBA draft pick.

He now devotes his time to motivational speaking and international coaching.

NGJH principal Allison Wilson and Thorburn Consolidated principal Stephen Barker

said Njoku’s talk at the school was great timing.

‘Today was the school’s annual conference on wellness, this month is African Heritage Month and it’s basketball season, which means Njoku will do a workshop with our basketball team,” Wilson said.

Njoku emphasized the need for young kids in school to stay organized to defeat any obstacle.

“I truly enjoy opportunities to come to places like New Glasgow Junior High and share my life story – all the highs and lows – through anecdotes, lessons and jokes.”

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW, Ghana, Canada

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