North Queens Community School hosted a series of speakers for African Heritage Month including motivational speaker Will Njoku.
Njoku grew up in Nova Scotia where he also attended St. Mary’s University. He immigrated to Nova Scotia from Ghana when he was just four years old. He currently resides in Moncton, New Brunswick with his wife and three sons.
Njoku is a professional basketball player who was drafted into the NBA, played for the national Canadian basketball team, and has competed in three World Basketball Championships.
Now he travels across Canada as a motivational speaker with his organization Will2Win. The message he brings to schools is meant to encourage students to aim high and follow through with their goals despite obstacles.
Njoku ran a basketball camp at NQCS and made his presentation to Grades 7 to 12 on Feb. 13.
His message comes from a place of experience. Despite personal struggles such as depression and anxiety, Njoku has lived his dreams.
“Nothing could have happened the way it happened without a strong will,” says Njoku.
Njoku uses his height (six foot nine inches) and humour to engage students.
“You know what I see when I look in a mirror? My chest. You see your cheeks, I see my chest. I have to take baths in sections,” says Njoku, getting laughs from students and staff.
Njoku told a story of meeting someone on the basketball court who was over seven foot six inches tall and how even the tallest people come up against “giants” in their lives. Njoku says “Giants” are obstacles in one’s life.
“He’d shoot and go up, his hand would come down with snow on it,” says Njoku.
Njoku’s coach allowed him to go up against his opponent despite being a rookie. Njoku says he just told his team mates that this opponent wasn’t going to get any smaller so they were just going to have to be determined, aim high, and follow through.
He also explained the mentality he feels is important to helping young people achieve their goals.
“You’ll have a sense of who you are, who you’re willing to be, where you’re willing to go, what you’re willing to accept and finally what you’re willing to do about it every single day. That’s how you field your will to win, that’s how you make it through life,” says Njoku
After his presentation, Njoku stayed for another basketball camp.
Click here to see some of Njoku's presentation and hear his interview.