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Playing Pro Ball In Lebanon & Bringing That Experience Home

Jamil Abiad | Trainer & Coach | NL Fitness

Playing overseas was an amazing experience and more so an eye opener. It showed me the game of basketball in a different light and a different style. Not only by the way it was played but also by the way it was taught.

Jamil Abiad

Trainer & Coach

NL Fitness

× The interview with Jamil Abiad was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Before we begin, give us a little update on how your job has changed since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

My work has changed drastically in the sense that all facilities closed down (gyms), tournaments, and leagues all canceled as well. Due to this and the social distancing rules in place I was not able to work at all so I had to find other ways to still give back and help athletes.

Keeping active and engaged on social media has been important during the pandemic.

Also, I am trying to prepare for the following season and train clients but doing so while trying to follow the health guidelines and make sure everyone is safe.

All in all it has been a big adjustment, and a struggle at times but it has also allowed me to work on many things I haven’t had much time to work on.

Not only have we been going through a global pandemic, but right now we are also living through the most wide spread human rights movement in history with the BLM movement. What is your commitment going forward to insure that you are providing equal opportunity for training to the communities that you work in world wide?

My commitment now and all along in all honesty has not changed. Being bi-racial (half Arab, half African), I grew up in a very diverse household. I learned about my roots from both sides, and I grew up with friends from all over the world. I have always taken the time to learn from my friends, about their values, types of foods and just the ins and outs about who they are. I was brought up to see people for who they are not what they are.

As a kid I experienced all sorts of racism and many times it bothered me. At times I was ashamed of where I came from. As I got older I embraced my origins more. I realized that all those people who were racist were just insecure or ignorant.

Being in the position I am in today, working with kids, youth and young adults, one of my goals is just educate them about what’s going on. I take time to preach that we are all equal. Your color, height, or size never give you the right to talk down anyone.

We all come from all walks of life and that’s what makes the world beautiful. Lastly, I always remind them that no matter who they are or where they came from, they are wildly capable to become anything they want to be!

I think it’s really important that kids grow up with that kind of support and belief that they can me more than the circumstances they were born into.

Before beginning your current roles, you played professionally in Lebanon. How has that experience helped you become a better trainer and a better coach?

Playing overseas was an amazing experience and more so an eye-opener. It showed me the game of basketball in a different light and a different style. Not only by the way it was played, but also by the way it was taught.

The experience I was able to gain throughout my time there from playing against top players internationally allowed me to see such tremendous skillsets firsthand. It allowed me to also pick the brain of a lot of these players as I became friends with many of them.

From there, I was able to bring a lot of what I learned from them, from playing, and from listening back here and implement some of that stuff in my teachings.

I also was able to learn how professional basketball works, and the biggest thing for me was the networking aspect of things.

Being a coach now I have many questions, and at any time I can pick up the phone and make a call to ask a question and find an answer. This has helped me tremendously as a new coach as I am able to get and give direct information, feedback and answers to my questions so I can answer my athlete’s questions as well.

Stacey Leawood Stacey's Final Thoughts

Jamil Abiad got the chance of a lifetime to fulfill his dreams of playing basketball professionally and has been dedicated to helping our youth get there ever since. Jamil is the founder of three companies, one of which being a international basketball trianing company, and still finds the time to coach three youth basketball teams, all with the goal of giving athletes the tools they need to become better people and better players and helping them to maximize their potential. It was a pleasure to talk to someone in the basketball community so dedicated to giving back and I hope it inspires you to do the same!

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