Jordan, Nowitzki and...meAdrian

It couldn’t get better than that! I was allowed, heck, encouraged to do what I enjoyed most, day in, day out: playing basketball.

Michael Jordan has always been my greatest role model. Everything about him fascinates me.
His presence in the square. His athleticism. His unbroken willpower. I’ve tried to learn as much as possible from this one-of-a-kind athlete. Whether that helped me get where I am today? Well, possibly … But the most important thing is: my family and I are doing great! And I have a job that I love.

My name is Adrian. I was born in Togo, but at the age of three I moved to Germany. I was adopted.
I spent my childhood in a small village in Rhineland-Palatinate. Sports were part of my daily life from day one. The first contact for a child from the Palatinate is the local football club. But I quickly realized that the rural knock-down-drag-out style of playing football wasn’t for me. I tried a lot of different sports during my early years: athletics, American Football, tennis. They were all fun. But there was only one sport that truly pulled me into its spell: basketball.

I remember the first time I walked into a hall. The fans. The players. The atmosphere.
Everything felt just right here!

During my childhood and youth, I spent countless hours playing with the round play equipment.
At the age of 14 my parents sent me to a sports boarding school in Speyer. There I had to train three times a day. And go to school. Otherwise, I did not have to worry about a single thing. My mind was completely focussed on one thing: sports. The athletes. The caregivers. The coaches. It couldn’t get better than that! I was allowed, heck, encouraged to do what I enjoyed most, day in, day out: playing basketball.
That was the best time of my life!

In basketball, the team has got a tight bond, on the pitch every player of every position is needed. It’s a fast and dynamic game. That’s what I love most about it! And of course, the team spirit. When I think back to my active years of playing, many great moments come back to me: As the Under 19s we became German vice-champion. And I was part of the junior national team.

During that time, I listened to a lot of hip-hop. The rappers of the West Coast blared from my speakers day and night.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. At one of the national team training courses I got into an argument. There was this other guy who was a supporter of the New York rappers. Of course I could not stand for that: I tried to make it clear to him who the real bosses of the rapping game are: “You don’t know what you’re talking about! The West Coast is better. “He replied,” No, no, the East Coast is clearly on top of their game!”. We were only messing around. Still, it’s a moment I’ll never forget.
Because the other guy is a world star today. He is a NBA Champion. His name is Dirk Nowitzki.

Thanks to the basketball I’ve been to a lot of places, done a lot of travelling.
Halle, Dessau, Mainz, Karlsruhe. These were only a few of my temporary stops. But it has always been important for me to pursue a more conventional career path, too. My mother played a big part in it. She always said: “A career in sports can be over within the blink of an eye.” So I trained to become a physiotherapist. It was not always easy to manage my passion for the round, orange ball and the demands of my job. But I gave me a great sense of purpose.

Today I am 39 years old. I have a family. Three children. My days as an active basketball player are over.
I am now working as a personal coach in Karlsruhe. That makes me incredibly happy. To see how the people I work with are developing. It’s not about pressing more weights on the bench. But to say, “Hey, it may be good to deal with yourself differently.” That’s what drives me!