Born in Nigeria, Alex Owumi moved to the United States at age 11 and grew up in Boston dreaming of becoming a pro basketball player. His dream came true — then got very, very weird. After a college basketball career at Alcorn State, he headed overseas to play for teams in France, Macedonia, and Libya. In Libya, Owumi found himself playing in Benghazi on a team funded by the Qaddafi family, living in an apartment owned by the Qaddafi family — and then, shortly, in the middle of the 2011 revolution to overthrow the Qaddafi family. After being stranded in his apartment without food or water for weeks, he was able to escape to Egypt…where, instead of immediately flying home, he joined another basketball team and led them to a league championship, winning postseason MVP honors. Owumi covers all this and more in his book , which came out this week.
When US basketball player Alex Owumi signed a contract to play for a team in Benghazi, Libya, he had no idea that his employer was the the most feared man in the country. Nor did he guess the country was about to descend into war. Here he tells his story, parts of which some readers may find distressing.
Alex Owumi got asked to play for Gaddafi’s personal basketball team. Nice perks and top dollar… until the gunshots, riots, rape and starvation kicked in…
Alex Owumi was a promising young athlete and jumped at the chance to play basketball in Libya when he was invited in 2010. He didn’t know much about the country but getting a personal invite to go and play his favourite sport overseas was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.