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John Amaechi
John Amaechi
British forward/centre NBA basketball player for Houston Rockets

John Amaechi, forward/centre for the Houston Rockets is a rare thing - a Briton currently playing in America's National Basketball Association. He received special recognition in the NBA's Hall of Fame for scoring first points in the new millennium. In addition to his many athletic accomplishments, Amaechi is also a philanthropist who has devoted much of his time and finances to various charities and non-profit organizations.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 26, 1970, Amaechi was raised by his mother in Manchester, with his two younger sisters. He attended Stockport Grammar School, where he began his athletic career as an aspiring rugby player and it was only a chance outing at the local basketball court that enticed Amaechi to give basketball a try. Soon basketball became his passion and by the age of 16, his dream was to play basketball professionally in the NBA. He and his mother formulated a plan for launching his career. Realizing that the best chance for stardom would be in the United States, Amaechi moved to Toledo, Ohio. As a high school basketball star, he was targeted by the country's top universities, and he ultimately signed to play for Vanderbilt University, though transferred to Penn State University a year later. In his three seasons at Penn State he was twice named First Team Academic All-American. After graduation he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and played 28 games for them during the 1995-1996 season. The following year he returned to Europe and played for three seasons with teams from France, Italy, Greece, and England, before returning to the NBA with the Orlando Magic in 1999.

In 2001, Amaechi signed a four-year contract with the Utah Jazz and signed for the highly-regarded Houston Rockets as their power forward/centre in 2003. Despite his professional commitment to the NBA, Amaechi donates much of his time and efforts to American and British charitable institutions and has a special interest in helping youth. Since 1993 he has been the ambassador for Big Brothers/Big Sisters UK and has mentored over 30 children. He is also involved with the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) campaign of the UK National Literacy Trust. He has been the RIF's ambassador for the UK since 1999. Amaechi has been involved with Prevent Child Abuse America since 1997, as well as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) for the last two years, in 2002 became involved with the National Council for One Parent Families and in 2003 became a member and ambassador for the Disarm trust in the UK. He is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical child psychology.

For over five years Amaechi has run the most successful Basketball Camps in both the United States and England. Amaechi's greatest contribution to date for young people in the UK has been the construction of the Amaechi Basketball Centre (ABC) in Manchester, which opened in August 2002. He is the sole benefactor for this $4 million facility and this latest endeavour promises to be an invaluable asset for the entire nation.

Contact: ANNE SHORE, A Shore Thing….,
7 Cornwall Crescent, London W11 1PH
Tel: 020 7243 9848
Fax: 020 7792 9802
Mobile: 07885 741560

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