New York Times best-selling author, psychologist and former National Basketball Association (NBA) player, John Amaechi OBE, was today conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts at the University of East London’s graduation ceremony in London’s 02.
John was born in 1970 and grew up in Stockport. First picking up a ball at 17 years old, John’s work ethic, determination and size saw him develop at a phenomenal rate, and in 1995, he became the first Englishman to start a competitive game in the World’s greatest basketball league.
After successful stints at teams such as Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers, John called time on his playing career at the age of 33 to concentrate on a career in psychology – something he had been planting seeds for ever since his time at Pennsylvania State University.
Speaking at the Schools of Law and Psychology graduation ceremony earlier today, John Amaechi said: “I think it’s brilliant to be able to be part of something that is celebrating the achievements of young people and their transition into adult life. The chance just to say a few words that will resonate with them seems far more important than my previous life of putting a ball though a hole."
John now has a ‘portfolio career', which spans broadcasting, voluntary work and writing, but psychology and the desire to get the best out of people is the area that he has become most noted for these days.
The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with over 28,000 students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.