John Amaechi OBE

John Amaechi OBE is an organisational psychologist, Chartered Scientist, New York Times best-selling author, CEO of leadership consultancy APS, and was the first Brit to play in the NBA.


At the age of 17, when he first picked up a basketball, John Amaechi was considered "too late to the game" and "not athletic enough" to have any chance of success in domestic sport, much less overseas. Six short years later he became a "starter" in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Cleveland Cavaliers - the only un-drafted free-agent in the leagues history to start at the beginning of an NBA season. Eleven years from first picking up a basketball, John Amaechi became the first and only Britain to have a place in the US Basketball Hall of Fame. John captained the England squad since his arrival to the team in 1997 and even in 'retirement' led the English Squad to Bronze in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He has been part of two European championship teams and turned down a seven-year guaranteed contract from the most successful team in American Sports over the last decade, the Los Angeles Lakers. John is the only British player to have had a career in the NBA and was honoured as one of the NBA's most improved players in 2000, showing an amazing ability to adapt and learn well into his career. John Amaechi is highly regarded for his ability to overcome adversity, including a life-threatening injury, in his quest for international success. He has made a habit of achieving the seemingly impossible in sports and life for more than a decade. Indeed, he has even been described as "a player with little innate physical talent, who rose to remarkable heights on the back of exceptional personal drive, terrific will and a tremendous goal-setting and life-planning strategy". He has firsthand knowledge of planning for your dream, setting goals and maintaining standards of achievement for the long haul. He understands motivation and personal development, the roots of success. Having lived in Continental Europe for four years before moving to America for a further ten, his international and cross-cultural experience is immense and his formulas apply to an endlessly diverse clientele across Europe and the Americas. In February 2007, after his retirement from the NBA, John Amaechi became the first openly gay NBA player after coming out in his memoir Man in the Middle. John appears regularly as a pundit for CNN, MSNBC, CBC and the BBC.  He has also appeared on a shows like BBC Breakfast, The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Oprah and many more. Topics have included the impact of depression, interpersonal skills, leadership, team cohesion, emotional literacy and diversity and inclusion on individual and team performance.


This profile was created by the MicDrop team with public information found from Speakers' Corner and NMP Live