Qaddafi's Point Guard: The Incredible Story Of a Professional Basketball Player Trapped in Libya's Civil War

Alex Owumi with Daniel Paisner. Rodale, $26.99 (296p) ISBN 978-1-60961-516-1
Following his eclectic global basketball career, Owumi, a Nigerian hoopster, ends up in war-torn Libya, barely surviving in an apartment owned by the Qaddafi clan. The African athlete, aided by veteran writer Paisner, sensitively recounts the sport he played with his brothers in his native Lagos as a boy, idolizing the NBA's legendary Hakeem Olajuwon—also from his hometown—and hoping to go to the States to play professionally. After a brief stop in London, Owumi's father gets a post as a professor of finance at Harvard but Owumi's dream of playing in the Big East eventually fizzles, leaving him the less glamorous road to athletic fame at Alcorn State in Mississippi. Next stop is a position with a French team before a stint with a rag-tag Macedonia squad and later with Al-Nasr, a state-run club funded by the powerful Qaddafi family, where he experiences unbelievable scenes of carnage and brutality until he flees to an Egyptian refugee camp. This is a resonant, moving memoir of an African athlete who survives incredible cultural and political challenges to play the sport he loves. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Discover what to read next