We spoke with J-Simms last week about his come up, his rookie season and what’s in store in year two. SLAM: You’re in the League now, but you played with the Sugar Land Legends of the American Basketball League. What was that experience like? Jonathon Simmons: It was a grind. I was playing basketball, so it was fun. All of the grind, it’s part of it. At that time, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was just doing it because it was there. It was fun, it was a grind. We traveled on a 12-passenger bus and our own cars to games. Those rides were always fun. I just took it for what it was. I tried to stay positive through the process because I really wasn’t sure where my life was going to go in basketball.
Ugo Udezue is a man on a mission His goal is to create a sports empire to rival one of the most lucrative and successful franchises in the world; the NBA. “I woke up one day and said, ‘I have to do something,'” Udezue told CNN. “Africa has the best talent in sports, look at, even Lebron James or Kevin Durant. Their lineage is from Africa.” The former basketball player and NBA agent is now CEO of the African Basketball League (ABL), which aims to promote the sport on the continent and discover and cultivate young talent.
The ABL is currently active in four countries with a total of six teams, but Udezue’s goal is to cover the continent. “In the next three years we’ll be in 20 countries in Africa,” he continued. “We want to create an opportunity for each individual franchise and each individual city to be a whole business entity that is profitable and can create jobs.”