St John's Wood teen crowdfunding to follow basketball 'American dream'
- Credit: Suhayb Choaibi/Jerome Jack
A teenager from St John’s Wood is hoping public support can propel him on the way to fulfilling his dream of travelling to the US to play basketball.
Suhayb Choaibi, 18, has been offered a spot at a prestigious school in New York, where he hopes to be spotted by a coach and secure a basketball scholarship to an American university.
But first he needs to pay for his trip to Trinity-Pawling School– and he’s launched a fundraising page to raise the final £5,000.
“I can’t say how much it means to me. It will mean the world if I can get to go,” he said.
Suhayb would be the first in his family to go to university. With his parents unable to work, he’s had to balance training with work and school.
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“It was very difficult balancing it, even with school as well. Work, school and then basketball," he said. "But I always found the time to do it. I feel like if you have a passion for it, you always find the time to pursue something.”
Suhayb hopes to play basketball professionally after getting his degree.
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“That’s my American dream," he said. "As soon as I started playing basketball, that’s the bar that I set myself. I told myself I wouldn’t settle for less.”
Jerome Jack, his coach at Harris Academy St John's Wood, said: “For UK basketball players, going to America is a dream come true, as America is the number one country for basketball.
“This a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. This is kind of a make-or-break for his basketball career. And we just need that little boost or help financially to get him to that position.”
Jerome works for Greenhouse Sport, a London-based charity which works to empower young people through sport.
Suhayb has been training non-stop, averaging 22 to 23 hours a week of basketball before the pandemic made life more difficult.
“It’s definitely more than just a sport to me," he said. "It’s like a medication. For that training session, for that hour or two, nothing in the world matters apart from basketball.”
To add to Suhayb's fundraiser, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/suhayb-basketball.