Providing opportunities through sport: Daijaun’s story

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“Since joining Greenhouse Sports, my son has grown from a shy young boy to a confident and articulate young man. I cannot thank Greenhouse Sports enough for believing in my son, and helping him realise that if he works hard, and has the right attitude, the sky will be his limit.” Daijaun’s mother.

Daijaun joined the Greenhouse Sports basketball programme at his south London school in 2014 when he was in Year 7. He came to Coach Alexis as an extremely shy individual, with low confidence and self-esteem. From the outset, Coach Alexis noticed that Daijaun possessed the build and athletic ability to play basketball at an excellent level, and he began working with Daijaun to coax him out of his shell.

“The first time I saw Daijaun, I saw he had the body type and athletic ability to be an outstanding player. After speaking to him, I knew he had it in him if he believed in himself and wanted to bring it,” Coach Alexis recalls.

Coach Predrag, a Greenhouse Sports Basketball Senior Head Coach, also noticed Daijaun’s potential. Alongside Alexis, Predrag took Daijaun under his wing, coaching, monitoring and mentoring him, to develop his talent further. In Year 8, he began playing for Coach Lucio with the London Greenhouse Pioneers, which offers pathways for players looking for more competitive play. Daijaun flourished and was subsequently named ‘Most Valuable Player’ at the Pioneers Under 14s National Champions, and was selected for the England Under 14s team.

His attendance on the international trip to Bosnia organised by Greenhouse Sports opened his eyes to potential opportunities abroad. An Italian club in Trieste, the top junior club in Europe, became the focus of Daijaun’s aspirations and Predrag closely supported him during his application process.

In 2016, Daijaun signed a 7-year contract with the Trieste Basketball Club, where he will receive a private education and complete his GCSEs. The club will give him the opportunity to really build on his skills as a basketball player, whilst also continuing his education.

“Daijaun’s performance is an example of his growth and testaments to his character, desire, bravery, and heart to succeed. Daijaun is no longer the quiet, shy boy I met nearly four years ago. He is an articulate, strong, focused, disciplined, resilient, young man with a great heart who I’m immensely proud to have worked with and been a part of his story. I have no doubt this is the very beginning of his journey and I can’t wait to see where it goes,” said Coach Alexis.

At Trieste, Daijaun has represented the club in league games and at European tournaments. Coach Nocera of Triste explains why they signed him:

“Daijaun is a guard that can be defined all around. A player that can play two or three roles, he has amazing athleticism for a boy of his age, and 204 centimetres of wingspan at only thirty percent of its possibilities. He is a serious guy, humble, determined in the work and ready to apply and to learn, conscious of having started a crucial stage of his path of growth.”