Abdel Nader: Being an Egyptian in the NBA
Abdel Nader knows that Egyptian basketball fans around the world hold him in high regard. After a recent Celtics game, we sat down with the man to discuss the NBA, and what he's doing to boost the prominence of the game of basketball in Egypt:
Even though you’re playing in the US, do you still feel the support of your home country?
Yeah, definitely. The way social media is now these days, it’s really easy to communicate with people in different regions and different parts of the country, world. A lot of people reach out through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It is a special feeling to know that I have support around the world like that.
Do you think Egypt has embraced the game of basketball yet?
I think it’s getting there. I know the national team has gotten a little better over the last couple of years. It still has a long way to go. I think I can help it with that, by being one of the first Egyptian basketball players in the NBA. Hopefully, I can influence more kids to pick up the game of basketball.
How do you hope to influence them?
I was thinking about going back this summer to open up some camps, doing some basketball camps in Egypt and seeing how that goes. It would be great to stay tied up with the community there and seeing how that works out. I’ll gladly do whatever I can to help for those reasons. But I haven’t looked into that yet, though.
Do you hope you can inspire more players from Egypt to get into the NBA?
If I could influence a kid to better his life with basketball and get him to the United States, to make it a better life for himself, I’m all for that.
I assume you watched the NBA when you were growing up, I don’t want to be presumptuous, but who were some of the players you looked up to, watched or maybe idolized?
Even though I wasn’t in his era, I was a big Michael Jordan guy. I watched a film on Michael Jordan. Even though they weren’t live games, I watched a lot of film on Michael Jordan - ESPN Classic games. Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, guys like that that fit my type of body, the way I would kind of play in the NBA. Things like that.
Are there players helping you in your rookie season?
For the most part, the whole organization does a great job, from the staff to the players. Al Horford is really influential to all the young players.
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