• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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From street hawking in Calabar to U.S College: David Etim’s basketball journey

From street hawking in Calabar to U.S College: David Etim’s basketball journey

David Etim’s journey from street hustling to basketball stardom defies the odds and inspires hope. Growing up in Calabar, David Etim faced the harsh realities of poverty, often resorting to street hawking to make ends meet.

The 17-year-old came from a family of obscurity and poverty as his father was a bricklayer and he often helped his father with his bricklayer job and laundry jobs too as the only means of survival.

Despite his towering height and innate talent for basketball, he never imagined a future beyond the struggles of his upbringing.

Hawking on the street of Calabar was his only means of survival due to his poor background, David Etim, a tall youngster with qualities of becoming a basketball star never knew he had those talents in him. Etim had started playing basketball on the streets with friends on a few occasions when he had the chance, but he never took the sport seriously because he had to hustle on the streets to make ends meet for himself.

However, fate had other plans. In a chance encounter with lawyer Faithfulness Okom, his life took a dramatic turn. Okom, struck by David Etim’s potential, took it upon himself to nurture this budding talent. From that moment on, his trajectory changed forever.

Reflecting on their initial meeting, Okom shared that it was in 2021 while driving in Calabar when he first encountered Etim. This serendipitous moment sparked Etim’s journey into the world of basketball, owing to his impressive stature.

“In 2021 I was driving along Marian Road, Calabar and saw a really tall lanky kid and I parked the car and chased after him to talk to him.

“Do you play Basketball?” His response was he started playing a few weeks before but barely had time because his mother was absent and his dad is a bricklayer he has to assist him on his projects and also does personal laundry for 3 families on the side. He didn’t have a phone, I described where I live and said come on x day and knock on the gate and I’ll be there.” Faithfulness Okom @AttorneyF_ said on his X account.

Enrolled in a local basketball academy and welcomed into Okom’s own home, Etim found himself on a path he had never dared to dream of. With unwavering support and encouragement, he began to excel on the court, catching the attention of scouts and coaches alike.

“He came to my house, I showed him old videos of @Giannis_An34 when he was a scruffy hustling kid, tried to motivate him and gave him a suitcase of clothes (which his dad eventually burnt out of jealousy). Long story short, I went abroad but before leaving enrolled him in a very small Basketball Academy in Calabar run by Frank John and since his dad kept being a pain in the ass he eventually moved in with my family.”

The culmination of Etim’s hard work and dedication came in the form of three scholarships to study in the United States. From the streets of Calabar to the prestigious NBA African Academy in Senegal, David’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of opportunity and mentorship.

“David Etim forwarded a pdf of an invite from the NBA Africa Academy in Senegal for tryouts, I thought it was fake. Verified and it turned out to be real, he needed flight tickets to Senegal and my homeboy @KennedyEkezie was generous enough to buy them without even being asked.

“David Etim sent me these photos from Senegal and told me because of his performances he’s gotten a scholarship to an American high school and we only need to figure out the visa. I am thoroughly excited for him and feel a deep sense of inner fulfilment. This is just the beginning.”

David Etims’s story serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes everywhere. With each success, he defies the limitations imposed by his past, proving that with determination and support, anything is possible.

From securing trials at the NBA African Academy in Senegal to earning scholarships to American high schools in the United States of America, David Etim’s rise in the basketball world has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite the obstacles he faced, David’s determination and the unwavering support of individuals like Okom have propelled him towards a future filled with promise and opportunity.