Gaafar ElSouri has the skills to pay the bills with his video series

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Road to recovery: Gaafer ElSouri

Former basketball player Gaafar ElSouri was a dual-sports athlete competing in both basketball and football. Dubai-based since 2014, ElSouri started his career in Saudi Arabia with Al-Hilal club and his basketball career included stints in Europe, Southeast Asia and Canada.

A serious knee injury last year left him on the sidelines and needing to rebuild his fitness to get his career back on track. His torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) required him to have full reconstructive surgery on his knee, which made him more determined than ever to get back on the court. ElSouri designed himself a workout programme of both fitness and drills to get him back in peak condition.

In a series of videos, coinciding with the NBA Playoff finals, ElSouri is documenting his road back to fitness, with the individual exercises you can do to get yourself in top condition. The second in the series focuses on dribbling exercises that aim to enhance your ball-handling skills. These drills can be done as a warm up, prior to a game to get your body ready to be in a triple-threat position. They can also be done to enhance the conditioning of your arms and legs while focusing on ball control.

In the pick of the bunch, ElSouri demonstrates figure of eight exercises. You too can practice by standing with your knees about shoulder-width apart and bend over slightly. With the ball in your right hand, pass it between your legs in a figure eight motion to your left hand. Swing the ball to the front and then pass it from your left hand back to your right hand through your legs. As with all ball handling drills, start slowly and increase your speed as you get more comfortable. When you’re confident enough, add in another ball and keep the two going simultaneously. Another exercise ElShouri does is the two-ball front V dribble.

Here you move your upper body along with the ball. When you’re doing this drill, it’s important to note the rhythm of the ball. The aim of the exercise is to keep both balls bouncing in front of you, and also passing one through your legs, while remaining in control.

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Binary Financial and Dolphins remain flawless in third week of Ball Above All's Elite League

Jay Asser 7/06/2018
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Dolphins' Lloyd Edjuto takes it to the basket.

Binary Financial and Dolphins continued to keep pace at the top of the standings in Ball Above All’s Elite League with their third victory in as many weeks.

In the first game of the night at GEMS Dubai American Academy Barsha, Binary Financial topped Spartans 81-68 as Ammar Farouq put on a show with 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Farouq sliced through Spartans’ defence at will to build up a sizeable lead. Spartans went on a run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to single digits, but couldn’t complete the comeback as they suffered their second loss of the season.

Dolphins then took care of business against Dubai Flight with a 67-58 victory, pulling away late after a closely-contested game.With four players scoring in double figures – including Augustine Bakali who had 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals – Dolphins’ firepower proved to be too much.

After struggling in their first two games, Dubai Flight showed fight and improvement in the loss.

The final game of the night saw Vipers edge Dubai Heat 82-78 behind Aristeed Mendy’s monster performance.

Vipers had four players contribute double-digit scoring with Mendy leading the way by dropping 37 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Mendy’s scoring average of 26.0 points trails only Binary Financial’s Bilal Abdullah (26.3) for top scorer on the season.

Ball Above All continues to deliver high quality leagues in Dubai, offering multiple divisions, pick-up games and a recently-launched Academy for all ages during Ramadan.

Follow Ball Above All on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Register to play on www.BallAboveAll.ae.

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Dolphins come through in final seconds again in round two of Ball Above All's Elite League

Jay Asser 3/06/2018
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Ball Above All is two weeks into its Elite League season.

For the second straight week in Ball Above All’s Elite League, Dolphins pulled out a close victory as they edged Vipers 79-77 in round two of the recreational league’s new season.

Lloyd Edjuto and Augustine Bakali each scored 23 points to pace Dolphins, while Aristeed Mendy poured in 30 points, six rebounds and six assists to keep the Vipers in the game at Dubai British School.

However, Mendy’s last-second jump shot to send the game to overtime was off the mark, leaving the defending champions at 0-2 through the early stages of the new campaign.

In the early game, Bilal Abdullah put on a shooting show by splashing five 3-pointers to lead Binary Financial to a 70-64 win over Dubai Heat.

Abdullah finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds six assists and two steals as Binary Financial remain unbeaten. Through two games this season, he leads the league in points (29.0 per game) and 3-pointers made (13).

The final game saw Spartans blow out Dubai Flight 76-38 with ease.

Spartans used their pressure defence to nab 21 steals, which led to several fast-break opportunities and points.

Emmy Unaegbu scored 26, while team-mate Rey Nyadera impressed with a triple-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and five steals.

Dubai Flight have so far struggled to acclimate themselves since joining the Elite League as they sit at the bottom of the standing with a minus-82 point differential.

Ball Above All continues to deliver high quality leagues in Dubai, offering multiple divisions, pick-up games and a recently-launched Academy for all ages during Ramadan.

Follow Ball Above All on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Register to play on www.BallAboveAll.ae.

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