Its 5:00 AM in Ontario, Canada and, while most folks are still sleeping, a 16-year-old high school basketball player is lacing his shoes up on a basketball court inside of a gym. He picks up the nearest basketball and begins to work on dribbling and handling drills for what seems like an eternity. After he finishes his drills, he doesn’t leave the gym. He then shoots from various positions on the floor until he makes 200 shots in total. Many basketball fans may be reading this and thinking “that’s not real” but, I assure you, it is. Philippe Nahimana is the name of the young man mentioned above and he is taking the basketball world by storm.
Before being able to learn more about Philippe as a basketball player, you first must understand more about his humble beginnings.
Philippe Nahimana was born in Libreville, which is the capital of the African nation of Gabon. Philippe’s mom was originally from Gabon, while his dad was from Rwanda. At a very young age, Philippe developed a love for the game of soccer, which was played by almost everyone he met during his time in Africa. Since he participated in sports, especially soccer, at a young age, he likely developed a passion for competition and a good work ethic.
Once Philippe moved to Canada, he began seeing other boys in his neighborhood playing basketball and decided he would strive to be the best player in the area. While one of his friends, Jayden Delva, and his uncle, Homere Fevry, officially introduced him to the sport of basketball, Philippe says he mostly taught himself how to play the game he grew to love.
Today, Philippe competes for Ecole Secondaire Catholique Paul-Desmarais, which is the name of his high school located in Ontario. The 16-year-old crafty guard can play just about every position on the floor if E.S.C.P.D.’s head basketball coach asked him to, which makes him a threat to opposing defenses looking to shut him down.
Nahimana, who currently stands a 6-foot, 160 lbs. , loves attacking the paint and finishing at the rim or pulling up from midrange off the drive. His 6’8 wingspan allows him to shrug off other smaller defenders and allows for him to become hugely versatile in the open court. Not only can he effectively get to the rim, Nahimana is known for shooting the three-ball consistently, especially when he can punish his defender for trying to sneak under a screen.
Philippe told us here at Hoops Table about who he believes inspires him on the basketball court:
“Then when it comes to basketball, well my favorite player is LeBron James. I’ve always loved the way he conducts himself on and off the court and how complete his game is. Magic Johnson’s vision and passing abilities and Jordan’s winning mentality and the ability to do what ever it takes to win inspires me.” Nahimana said. When asked about who would be his greatest inspiration, Nahimana said. ” My biggest inspiration on the court would be Allen Iverson! His willingness to put his body on the line to help his team win, his never say die attitude, toughness, tenacity, oh and the crossover! All of these are things I wanted to emulate along with his ability to be so effective at his height made me believe I can make it to the league without needing to be 6’8, 250 lbs. like LeBron.”
Off the basketball court though, Philippe expressed to us that he has other inspirations which surround him during this daily life.
“Growing up, I’ve had a lot of inspirations. Like my parents of course, my mother and my father. I wanted to replicate and improve upon the things they did well in their life, but also be a man they could look at and be proud of!”
A huge part of Philippe’s drive to be the best basketball player he can be is his work ethic. As mentioned before, Philippe follows a strict training regiment in order to keep his body performing at it’s top level. During the offseason, Philippe will wake up at 4 AM each day and get a workout in from 5:00am – 8:00am. Once he finishes, he attends two workout sessions from 9:30am to 3:00pm before hitting the weight room from 8:00pm to 10:30pm. To finish up his day, he watches film of himself and NBA players as well as some college players, hoping to learn and train his mind on a new part his game.
Philippe is somewhat of a Swiss-army-knife type of player who loves to score, but can also feed the hot hand when one of his teammates is shooting lights out. His game is so versatile and explosive that many people have compared him to the Memphis Grizzlies’ point guard Mike Conley. Over the last few years, Philippe has been silencing the haters by putting up insane numbers night after night, but one game in particular stood out to him the most during our interview.
“I do remember having a 52 point game in eighth grade, but I think my best game would be my triple double game this year where I had 15 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 blocks. I feel like that was a very complete game and most importantly, my team got the win and that’s all that really matters. My stats take a backseat to team wins and accomplishment and that might just be my best quality on the court.”
When speaking about the future and what it holds for him he said this:
“Man, the future can hold many things for me and I am a believer that hard work will get you anywhere so I know I will keep working hard. I also believe that the Lord has made out a plan for me to uncover as I grow not only as a basketball player, but also as a man.”
While Philippe may be right about the fact that the future can hold anything, but lets get one thing straight: Philippe Nahimana is no fraud and is single-handedly putting the basketball world on notice.