ALL EYES ON THE PHILIPPINES
Exclusive! Achieve Success Student Lifestyle Interview with
UST Power Forward, William Kwabena Afoakwah
by US Executive Publisher Kareem Jackson
The Philippines Becomes New Athlete Destination
As the Philippines becomes increasingly more competitive on a global scale; with the new K-12 educational system, world-class cities, top-tourism destinations, call center and BPO Meccas, stars from all around the world are looking at the Philippines for opportunities –and subsequent success.
The days of brain-drain (the loss of Philippines talent to opportunities abroad), OFW-focused careers and massive exportation of major talent are nearly (if not completely) over.
Today, more than 90% of all students polled by The American Press Service (T.A.P.S.), as well as The Philippines Magazine International and Achieve SUCCESS Student Lifestyle Magazine did not express any interest in opportunities abroad. In reality, the majority (nearly 100%) of students polled expressed interests in opportunities right in the Philippines. Entrepreneurship, International Business Development (BDC’s) and the S.T.E.M. Disciplines, such as IT are at the top of the list.
Ironically, hundreds of thousands of students, youth and young adults from all over the world are looking to the Philippines now to achieve their success goals. The Philippines Islands, has received massive amounts of interest over the past decade. Of course, the Filipino Hospitality, simple-lifestyle and new economic renaissance are all very attractive. However, their sports industry is gaining momentum now as well. From the new Senior High Schools, to Colleges, Universities and the popular PBA, the Philippines is attracting talent from around the world.
The US Executive Publishers of Achieve Success Student Lifestyle Limited Special Edition Magazine sat down with 21-year old, Power Forward, William Kwabena Afoakwah, UST (University of Santo Tomas) “Growling Tigers” Men’s Basketball Team.
In his exclusive one-on-one Live! On The Set interview, William gave Achieve Success Magazine life-changing insights into the Varsity and professional youth basketball lifestyle. How he went from playing ball at Slizzers Basketball Academy in Ghana, Africa to living his dream in The Philippine Islands.
William expresses his love and appreciation for the Filipino people, and the warm-welcoming lifestyle they have afforded him for his talents and skill on the court. He gave advice for talented players all over the world and especially back home is Ghana who are looking to take their game to the next level and get a world-class education at the same time.
You have had an amazing, fast and inspiring career, William. You have inspired players back home in Ghana…as well as right there in the Philippines. How long have you been playing?
“Thank you for that Kareem…(laughing) it’s been 6 hard-working, full-time practicing, God blessed years now. I am so grateful to UST…you have no idea.”
We know you’ve inspired youth all over the world with your game…but, if you’re honest, what was y-o-u-r inspiration? What made you get in to bball?
“Honestly, it was an angle…my Mother. Mom, literally, made me do it. I’m 6’7” tall…my mother is a sports lover and she loves Michael Jordan. So to her my calling was obvious, she said ‘Son why not try at a career in basketball? You may do well…’ and so, I took her advice. I’ve been grateful to her every day since. Not only did she give me an idea…my mother also helped me to research and find my home here at UST while we were back in Ghana. She put her time where her mouth was. She is my angel.”
William, it’s got to be very hard to play against Filipino youth who have been playing their entire lives. Not to mention Filipino players are quick! Zippidy-Quick actually, and they can dribble close to the floor. At what age did you play your first game?
“It all started when I was 16…I played my first real-game when –with my mother’s full-support- I was blessed to joined Slizzers Basketball Academy in Ghana. Wow…yes, I was a late-bloomer, it was very very tough. Imagine…I was this very tall, very skinny, kid…with only two skills. I could only rebound and run. (laughing)”
Your fast-track to UST Power Forward gives hope to players everywhere, who have dreams of being professional players. How did you get picked by UST?
“Actually was blessed Kareem…I got a call to come and tryout. And they picked me while I was still in Manila. Initially…I was invited to join a basketball academy named FBA. Then, I decided to stay and make a life of it. Moe than just for games…The Internet is a powerful thing. (laughing)”
What is your advice for players and wanna-be players alike who are looking for success as a professional player?
“I’ve got 3 more years here. It can be hard sometimes…but, I try and stay focused. My advice to players who want to succeed at this game…never forget the Lord…he is how we are all able to be here. Then, your grades and remembering to be humble and to help the next one up. Keep working hard, stay true to yourself and lastly have -and maintain- passion for the game. Listen to your coaches, watch game-films whenever possible. Stay humble and respect the game. To international African players!”