GLBT History Month 2007
Keynote Speaker: John Amaechi
Retired Pro NBA star who recently came out of the closet,
and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (read more)
October 10th 7:00pm - 9:00pm
John Amaechi, retired NBA star, author of the best-selling autobiography, Man in the Middle, and official spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, gave an inspirational keynote at BSU on achieving your dreams while remaining true to yourself.
He has made numerous media appearances such as on Good Morning
America, CNN's Headline News, ESPN's Outside the Lines, The Daily Show with Jon
Stewart, Paula Zahn Now, and Your World with Neil Cavuto on FOX News.
While at BSU, Mr. Amaechi discussed important topics such as human rights and achieving one's personal
definition of success. His inspirational and intellectually stimulating keynote
promoted a greater awareness and appreciation of diversity while encouraging his
listeners to reach deeper levels of understanding about themselves and their
relationship to others.
Small-group discussion with John Amaechi4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
Students enjoyed an exclusive opportunity to meet John Amaechi in a small-group setting (maximum of 30 students). This opportunity was available to BSU students only with a valid ID.
Book SigningBook signing followed Mr. Amaechi's keynote. Copies of Man in the Middle were available for purchase in the book signing area. Read exclusive excerpts from his book.
The below article is authored by Keppler Speakers
Self-limitation is not a term in John Amaechi's vocabulary. At the age of 17, an overweight, not incredibly athletic young British man that had never touched a basketball, embarked on an incredible journey that has yet to be duplicated.
Despite such a late start to the game and a devastating injury that nearly severed his dominant hand, he would rehab his injury becoming ambidextrous in the process and move to the United States without knowing a soul. From there, he became the surprising star of a Big Ten basketball program and eventually reached one of the first of many lifetime goals he had set out for - becoming a professional basketball player in the NBA.
As the first, and to date, only, NBA player from Great Britain, John Amaechi has always set his sights high while demanding a lot of himself to get there. What separates him from the pack is an unwavering and conscientious focus on remaining true to himself and his ideals even when it's inconvenient or financially detrimental to do so. Turning down 17 million dollars from the Los Angeles Lakers (during the years of Shaq and Kobe) was just one decision that was led not by Amaechi's financial appetite, but a bigger promise and commitment to others that he couldn't place a value on.
Amaechi has now added another first to his biography. As described in his New York Times best-selling book, Man in the Middle, Amaechi goes from an awkward, overweight kid in Manchester, England to the high-flying hyper-masculine world of the NBA. Along the way, he endured endless obstacles to his hoop dreams - being abandoned by his father, being cut from his first college team, recovering from a life-threatening injury, playing for abusive coaches, and losing his mother - while also protecting a vital secret that could have ended his career: John Amaechi is gay.
His inspiring story has been profiled on dozens of national programs here in the U.S. including, Good Morning America, CNN's Headline News, ESPN's Outside the Lines, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Paula Zahn Now, and Your World with Neil Cavuto on FOX News.
He is also now the official spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, a program designed to help gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people come out and live openly.
In the UK, Amaechi is a regular sport and current affairs pundit for the BBC, ITV and SKY as well as a presenter on a range of radio and television programs, including ITV's ongoing Britain on the Move series and Channel 5's weekly Sport on Five. In addition to maintaining broadcast interests in the United States, he is currently the face of Sport England's latest "Everyday Sport" campaign as well as an Ambassador for London's 2012 Olympic Bid.
While Amaechi's NBA career spanned six years with four different teams, he was also a key player with two European championship teams. Until his retirement in 2006 from international competition, Amaechi had also captained England's national squad since his arrival to the team in 1997.
A large and integral part of John Amaechi involves giving back to one's community, especially where kids are concerned. To that end, he founded the ABC Foundation, which aims to increase youth participation in physical activity and holistic support services while helping young people broaden their horizons and strive for excellence. The foundation's first sports center for children, the Amaechi Basketball Centre, opened in 2002 in Manchester.
Amaechi also supports numerous other charities in the UK, including One Parent Families, the National Literacy Trust, Disability Sport England, and the UK branch of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
A speaker in high demand in the corporate arena, he is also the founder of Animus Consulting, an organization which is devoted to helping businesses and organizations increase their bottom line while developing better employees and a healthier business environment in the process. Amaechi's speaking and consulting work focuses on self-esteem, goal setting and ethical leadership and decision making. He is also well versed in the use and interpretation of the MBTI personality inventory and other psychometric testing platforms.
Amaechi's engaging and intellectually stimulating programs take audience members on their own journeys of self-discovery. With clear and insightful thinking, Amaechi illustrates the power of aligning personal integrity with bold dreams and how to create a well-crafted blueprint to get there.
As a man that was called both too slow and too late to the game of basketball, he acutely understands motivation and personal development. Having lived all over Europe, the United States and England, his international and cross-cultural experience is immense and works with an endlessly diverse group of clients.
Amaechi has extensive expertise in keynote and motivational speaking, conference chairmanship and workshop administration. He is able to set and maintain tone, as well as use wit, warmth and insight to link the individual facets of any program. His demeanor and incredible experiences make for an inspiring, entertaining and unforgettable program.
Learn more about John Amaechi