John Amaechi: The Man Whose Word is Worth $17 Million

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John-Amaechi
Not many men in the world today can be adjudged to have as strong a willpower as John Uzoma Amaechi. During his illustrious career as a professional basketball player, Amaechi is well remembered for turning down a $17 million contract offer from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, opting to remain in Orlando for $600,000 per year. Later, in a radio interview, when asked why he turned down $17 million offer, his answer was that Orlando had signed him in 1999 when no other team would.

“There are many people who are asked what their word is worth, and when people ask me that, I can say, ‘At least $17 million,” he said.

Amaechi is also highly regarded as a frank personality. He is the first National Basketball Association (NBA) player to speak publicly about being gay.

But apart from being a successful athlete, he is also a seasoned professional. Amaechi owns Amaechi Performance Systems, which is a consultancy firm working with several companies to improve leadership and communication skills, as well as organisational diversity.

He multiples to be a member of the American Psychological Association, British Psychological Society (BPS), BPS Division of Organisational Psychology and BPS Psychological Testing Centre. He also rose to the level of Senior Fellow at the Centre for Emotional Literacy and Personal Development at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in the United Kingdom.

He also partners with the ABC Foundation in Manchester, which encourages children to become involved in sports and their communities by building youth sports centres throughout the United Kingdom. The first such facility, the Amaechi Basketball Centre, was built in Manchester, not far from his childhood home of Stockport. The location is also home to the English Basketball League’s Manchester Magic (men) and Manchester Mystics (women). Both are owned by Amaechi.

Awards

In acknowledgement of his achievements, not just as an athlete and a broadcaster, but also for his penchant for charity with the National Literacy Trust, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and establishment of the ABC Foundation to encourage children to become involved in sport and their community, Amaechi was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by Manchester Metropolitan University on July 19, 2007. He was one of a few privileged to be appointed member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to sport and the voluntary sector. He was also conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Arts by the University of East London.

Henry Onoghan

Henry Onoghan

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