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Nkwain Kennedy, a young war-affected Cameroonian who dreams of playing in the NBA

There is an old popular phrase that says: “No dreamer is too small and no dream is too big”. Young Nkwain Kennedy seems to be the perfect embodiment of that idea. He is 20 years old and lives in Bamenda, a city located in the northwest of Cameroon. Life is not easy there. This region has been plagued by a bloody civil war that has resulted in the death of more than 3,000 people. “Bamenda used to be a town full of love on basketball, kids used to love basketball but due to everything going around my area basketball is less practiced and children forget their dreams because they live where they live”, he said in an interview conceded to Ruptly.

In such an adverse context, “dreaming” seems to be a daring thing to do. If there is one thing Nkwain has plenty of, it is that: daring. The 20-year-old Cameroonian has decided he wants to pursue a big, gigantic goal: to play in the NBA. That is why he trains quite hard, with discipline and dedication to one day earn a place in the best basketball league in the world. Due to hardship and poverty, Nkwain cannot afford a professional sports equipment, but that is not an obstacle for him. This young man has come up with creative and strange ways of training, using his own resources and material.

For example, he often straps water-filled bottles to his calves (two on each leg) and does single leg jumping drills. Cut tree trunks are another favorite tool. He usually places them in different parts of the basketball court where he practices and tries to dribble them with the ball in his hands. He also wears straps, which he ties at one end to his waist and at the other to old tires. He does this to improve the strength and power of his jump.

It is also common to see him carrying heavy logs and water jugs on his back. An example of resourcefulness and determination. Nkwain rose to popularity when he began uploading videos of his demanding basketball training routines to social media. “It’s gonna be difficult, 100% difficult, that’s why I love it. I am willing to work day by day, no matter what”. Time will tell if this young African achieves his goal.

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