Name: Ameh Simon Owoicho
Hometown: Benue State, Nigeria
Team: Dodan Warriors Junior Team
Ameh started playing basketball in 2007 at the age of 12 and instantly fell in love with this fun, dynamic game. His favorite players are the great point guards that grace the NBA: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Steve Nash. Basketball is and always will be fun for Ameh; it gives him so much happiness and keeps him away from the negative influences that often lure youth in. He is grateful to have found basketball because it completely changed his attitude about life; he has learned the importance of teamwork, compassion for his others and the motivation to push through all forms of adversity. Ameh hopes to use basketball to improve his circumstances.
“I hope to use this game to further my education in college and help my mom and sisters get their education, just like you Chiney.”
Ameh admits that playing basketball in Nigeria can be frustrating and difficult at times due to a lack of teams and facility sponsorships. It’s also hard competing for attention with soccer, the universal sport. Nonetheless, he’s glad to be a part of this grassroots movement happening within Nigerian sports. There is definitely more good than bad. “It is cool and developing really fast.”
Off the court, Ameh’s biggest challenge is finding a way to give back to his mother. “Seeing her give so much to me inspires me everyday. Even though I like to use this as an escape, I know I can give back to her too. I am the first son and have so many responsibilities.” Ameh says if he could do anything in this world, I would “bring peace and love, regardless of religion.” Heightened religious differences in Nigeria have recently taken center stage as governments, organizations and individuals are working to erase the problems such differences have created.
“I want the world to know that we are one, same color of blood in all of us, same love for the game, so we should all help each other achieve our goals and treat each other as we want to be treated.”
I respect your love for the game, but even more I respect your beautiful spirit. We are all one. We all love the game, therefore it is our duty to share that love! Keep working with your teammates and inspiring others to join you. Because as you improve, so does the game! It truly is a global movement!
Your teammate and friend,