Usually, in sports, the untold story of an athlete’s journey to success is usually told upon reaching stardom (after great performances, winning prestigious awards and getting recognition). But we need not forget that sometimes the story about the foundation of a promising athlete is told before his or her success. This at most times is done by the qualities that a visionary sees as the molding process goes on.
This is meant to say that the story about the foundation of a promising star is usually told due to a stunning performance. In Liberia, more focus is placed on promising football athletes, which is the country’s number one sport, while athletes in other sports go undiscovered.
Moving on, one promising basketball athlete discovered by this newspaper is 15-year-old Exodus Nayan of the ELWA Academy in Paynesville. He was among several young players whose eye-catching performances were discovered during the recent Sports Day of Isaac A. David Golden Jubilee celebration.
Nayan, a 10th-grade student served as a captain and point guard for his institution’s basketball team. Dressed in his sky blue jersey, red wristband, white shorts and gray sneakers, the 15-year-old’s sparkling dress core spoke volumes that needed to be backed by his performance.
As was expected, he became one of the players to watch from his first touch of the ball to his first dribble. With enough endurance to handle full-court pressure from opponents, he became the most influential player for his side by using his dribbling skills to score points and provided assists in his team’s 17-15 win against Isaac A. David.
Nayan’s ambition started from an early age at the ELWA Academy. Despite the lack of good basketball facilities, the 15-year-old travels around Paynesville at various basketball courts and his institution’s dark basketball gymnasium to practice basic drills.
Unfortunately, there are no programs for high school basketball. Once in a blue moon, high school competitions are organized by institutions or prominent individuals. Despite these challenges, the 15-year-old is one of those talented kids whose talent needs to be promoted, for he could become a basketball star in the future.