Today we bring you a very hot talent who has been making a massive impact in the USA.
A talent to watch from our DC Top 50 list 2011, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was born and raised in Yaoundé to a royal household with his twin brother Emmanuel and six siblings. Growing up, he displayed an interest in sports but it wasn't until he was 12 years old that he became influenced by basketball.
Meeting some of Africa's greatest basketball players such as Dikembe Mutumbo, DeSagana Diop and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje showed Luc that dreams of a career in professional basketbal were possible.
That Luc reached the ranks of professional basketball's elite speaks volumes about his natural ability. It is also a tribute to his unsurpassed determination and work ethic, and an uncommon intelligence that he brings to the game.
Here is what Kobe Bryant, one of the best defenders in the NBA had to say about Luc "You don't see a lot of players [like Luc] who understand the value of playing hard defensively."
Need we say more? Happy reading y'all!
DC: Hello Luc, thanks for talking to DC. Let's talk a bit about you. Who is Luc Mbah a Moute?Luc: Hi, Luc Mbah a Moute is a young professional Basketball Player from Cameroon playing in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.
DC: How tall are you?
DC: Did your height influence your decision to get into basketball?
Luc: No it didn’t. I actually started playing soccer because that is the most popular sport back home then I wanted to try something different that’s how I fell in love with Basketball!
DC: How did your basketball career kick off? Tell us how you started.
Luc: When I was about 14 I joined a club in my hometown of Yaoundé called ONYX. After 3 years, my skills improved a whole lot so I was selected to represent Cameroon at the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in S.A formally called Africa 100. From there I got a scholarship to come play at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida where I played for 3 years. In 2004 UCLA recruited me to play for their basketball team! I played there for 3 years, I went to THREE FINAL FOUR, in two of those I played against Joakim Noah, the Milwaukee Bucks then drafted me and I’ve been playing here for the past 3 years.
DC: Was it easy to break into the professional basketball scene?
Luc: No it was really hard to break into it, because there are only 450 spots in the league and there are millions of people trying to make these spots from around the world. Also coming from Africa was definitely a disadvantage as opportunities for us to make it in the league are limited. It took a lot of hard work and blessings from above.
DC: Did you face any obstacles?
Luc: Well I did at first; the language barrier, the style of play being more European back home whilst faster in the U.S. and living alone in a new environment were all obstacles that came into play.
DC: How did you deal with these?
Luc: I remained positive and I kept dreaming. I knew what I wanted to accomplish which was to get into the NBA and I just kept putting that in front of me and I kept chasing it. My family support also played a big part in it.
DC: Where would you say your determination to succeed comes from?
Luc: It comes from my dad. From a young age my dad had always been telling my brothers, sisters and I that “HARD WORK ALWAYS PAID OFF” so I wanted to do just as good or better than he did. When I found my dream and my passion it was just a matter of me working hard to achieve my goals.
DC: Your parents had never seen you play until they came from Cameroon to watch you at the 2008 NCAA Men’s Division Basketball Tournament. What did this mean to them?
Luc: They were very proud to travel all the way from Cameroon and witness an event as big as what the Final Four was; it made them proud and made me very happy.
DC: Where they supportive of your chosen career from the start?
Luc: No they were not just like most parents in Africa. We have to bear in mind that basketball is not a very popular sport in Cameroon so it was not easy to convince them that I was coming to the U.S to play basketball. But the fact that I was getting an education as well assured them to let me come here. They were more excited at the fact that I was going to be able to go to college in the U.S than playing basketball!
DC: Do you think Cameroonian (or African) parents ought to be supportive and encourage their children into unconventional careers?
Luc: Yes no questions about that. I think that nowadays we can’t just keep the mindset of going to school, getting a degree and finding a job. School is not for everyone and some people have talents that can be exploited. Making it as an athlete or an artist can help you sustain your whole family.
DC: Are there any differences between playing for your club the Milwaukee Bucks and playing for the Cameroon Basketball team?
Luc: Yes there is a very big difference because when playing for Bucks I’m playing for a club but when I play for my country there’s a lot more pride and feelings involved and many times I end up in a team with people I grew up playing with who share the same love and passion for my beloved Cameroon.
DC: What do you think needs to be done to ensure that standards are kept within the Cameroon basketball scene?
Luc: Well the first thing that we should focus on is I think the infrastructure and our material resources.
The next thing we should focus on are the children from ages 5 to 12. By training them at an early age it gives them more time to develop their skills in order to maximise the opportunities for them to play at a professional level in Europe or the U.S.
DC: What are your dreams?
Luc: I’m living it right now!
DC: Any last word to anyone thinking of going into a basketball career?
Luc: Work, work hard, work and when you’re tired of working work some more!
Check out our brother in action!
With Dikembe Mutumbo
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mbahamoute
DC: Thank you!!
Luc: Thank You
To conclude this post, here is our quote of the day. Remember that with a little passion and determination sprinkled with a lot of hard work, YOU CAN achieve whatever you want.
Are you living your dream?