1. What does being a Leader mean to you?

At its core,

being a leader means putting others in a position to succeed.

That can be done in two main ways. The first is leading by example, be it carrying a team to a victory, demonstrating incredible work ethic, or doing the dirty work that no one else wants to do.

Leadership is also sacrifice, which involves taking accountability when you or others make mistakes and having the disciplineto address and work towards solving the issue.

2. What’s your favorite part of being a leader?

My favorite part of being a leader is helping someone overcome an issue or problem they are facing. This skill is applicable to all facets of life, and since basketball is a game where inevitably your teammates will go through struggle, it is a fundamental ability which a leader must master.

Helping teammates is a complex process, which involves forming a relationship, building genuine trust & ultimately helping them decide what course of action is best for them.

Its long but rewarding process that furthers your relationships with your teammates, creating the ultimate chemistry that will translate flawlessly on to the court.

3. How has EMA helped you become the leader you are today?

EMA showed me that the best way to become a good basketball player is to center your training around high-level leadership.

Focusing on work ethic, thinking the game & elevating your teammates all for the purpose of winning differs from the individual-minded mentality & highlight culture that runs youth basketball today.

However, developing players from the inside out ensures holistic thinking in regards to the game of basketball, making players focus on their teammates in addition to themselves because they know it will help them succeed.

4. What’s the best thing you’ve learned at EMA?

EMA taught me a crucial key to life that is often overlooked: Respect. It’s something that can be gained in a moment, and lost just as quickly. EMA emphasizes respect for every relationship, student to coach, student to student, and coach to student.

The EMA definition of respect requires engaged listening (eyes and ears), polite manners & total honesty.

For kids, these qualities are often hard to sustain, but EMA presents them as the path to growth and success. One crucial example is that EMA requires students to respond with “Excuse me?”, instead of “What?” or “Huh?” when they don’t understand or hear something. This small change can make a world of difference, as it addresses the person you are speaking to with genuine respect, which will most of the time be reciprocated.

Ultimately, respect is a quality that will get you a long way in life, and what better way to develop it than through basketball.

5. How do you show up as a leader on and off the court?

On the court, I pride myself on one thing: winning. I do whatever it takes to win, which varies widely game to game, and requires me to think and manipulate the game in order to to gain an advantage. This involves guarding the other team’s best player to take him out of the game, finding ways to create mismatches, and even simply diving on every loose ball. These aspects ultimately revolve around both pregame preparation and real-time adjustments.

Off the court, I love to work with kids to help them unlock their potential. When I’m not training, I’m a Student-Coach at EMA, taking everything I learn and teaching it to the students. Additionally, I design curricula for tutoring middle schoolers in Math and English.

6. Who are some leaders that you look up to and why?

It would be cliché to say Coach Gumbs, but know he is my #1 for the undeniable impact he’s had on my life. Besides Coach,

I look up to my Mom, because of the sacrifices she’s made for me & others.

Caring for two kids while working a job and managing so many other responsibilities sounds impossible, and I will never be more grateful. In addition her job as a psychologist requires her to often put others needs before her own, a trait that I admire greatly.

7. Define EMA with one sentence.

EMA is a holistic basketball academy that redefines youth basketball culture, fusing high-level training with leadership to create the ultimate transformative experience.

8. Complete the sentence: As a leader, I encourage people to…

Be unapologetically confident in who they are by displaying the best version of themselves both on & off the court.


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