NBA

Boston Celtics forward Abdel Nader hopes to help Egypt embrace basketball

Sport360 staff 14:44 17/10/2017
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Abdel Nader hopes to inspire kids to take up the sport.

Boston Celtics forward Abdel Nader is adamant he can help Egypt embrace the game of basketball by being “one of the first Egyptian basketball players in the NBA”.

The 24-year-old looks to be an exciting prospect for the Celtics this season and is ready to take the NBA by storm after impressing in the NBA G League last year, winning the NBA G League Rookie of the Year award.

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Speaking about whether Egypt had embraced the game of basketball yet, Nader said: “I think it’s getting there. I know the national team has gotten better over the last couple of years.

“It still has a long way to go. I think I can really help it with that, by being one of the first Egyptian basketball players to be in the NBA. Hopefully I can influence more kids to pick up the game of basketball.”

Nader intends to open a basketball camp in Egypt someday.

Nader intends to open a basketball camp in Egypt someday.

Last season’s NBA G League All-Star has shared his intentions to open a basketball camp in Egypt one day, saying: “I was thinking about going back this summer to open up some camps, doing some basketball camps there [in Egypt] and seeing how that goes. It would be great to stay tied up with the community there and seeing how that works out. I’ll gladly do whatever I can to help for any reason.”

Full Q&A with Nader:

Q: Even though you’re playing in the US, do you still feel the support of your home country?

A: Yeah, definitely. The way social media is now these days, it’s really easy to communicate to people of different regions and different parts of the country, world. A lot of people reach out through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It is a special kind of feeling to know that I have support around the world like that.

Do you think Egypt has embraced the game of basketball yet?

I think it’s getting there. I know the national team has gotten a little better the last couple of years. It still needs a long way to go. I think I can really help it with that, by like being one of the first Egyptian basketball players to be in the NBA. Hopefully I can influence more kids to pick up the game of basketball.

What would you like to do to influence them? How would you influence them?

I was thinking about going back this summer to open up some camps, doing some basketball camps there [in Egypt] and seeing how that goes. It would be great to stay tied up with the community there and seeing how that works out. I’ll gladly do whatever I can to help for any reasons. I haven’t really looked into that yet, though.

Glad to be a Celtic #bleedgreen

A post shared by Abdel Nader (@dulenader2) on

Do you hope you can inspire more players from Egypt to come here in some way?

If I could influence a kid to better his life with basketball and get him to the United States, to make it a better life for himself, I’m all for that.

I assume you watched the NBA when you were growing up, I don’t want to be presumptuous, who were some of the players you looked up to, watched or maybe idolized?

A: Even though I wasn’t in his era, I was a big Michael Jordan guy. I watched film on Michael Jordan. Even though they weren’t live games, I watched a lot of film on Michael Jordan – ESPN Classic games. Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, guys like that that fit like my type of body, the way I would kind of play in the NBA. Things like that.

Any players helping you for your rookie season? What are they doing to reach out?

For the most part, the whole organization does a great job, from the staff to the players. Al Horford is really influential to all the young players. Kyrie is on us all the time about getting better, being professional, things like that. Jaylen, even though he’s only been here a year, has been a great mentor for me. He’s been through it. He knows what to expect, things like that. It’s a blessed situation. I’m glad to be here.

Abdel Nader was speaking as tickets for the NBA London Game 2018 between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers go on sale this week, with fans able to register their details at NBA.com/London to gain early access to a limited number of tickets via a presale to be held on Wednesday, October 18.

Tickets for the NBA London Game 2018 will go on general sale Friday, October 20 at 9am BST at theo2.co.uk/nba2018.

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