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Former NBA Player Holds Court At New Canaan Country School

Former NBA player John Amaechi will spend three days at New Canaan Country School starting today offering on and off the court expertise to the students and staff. Photo Credit: Amaechi Performance
Former NBA player John Amaechi will spend three days at New Canaan Country School starting today offering on and off the court expertise to the students and staff. Photo Credit: Amaechi Performance

NEW CANAAN, Conn., -- It's not every day that a New Canaan school can attract a former NBA player who has also been honored by Queen Elizabeth for his service.

John Amaechi is at New Canaan Country School for three days beginning Wednesday, where he will spend three days talking with students, teachers and parents about inclusion, character and performance.

He will also host a few basketball clinics and talk about the connection between sports and character and performance.

Amaechi, who played for four NBA teams in a career that stretched over five seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is a New York Times best-selling author, psychologist and executive coach.

He was also honored by Queen Elizabeth II with the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for his services to sport and volunteering efforts. Born in Boston, he was raised in England and began playing basketball at age 17.

He moved to the United States to play college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Penn State.

He was also known for one of the few professional athletes to come out as homosexual, which he did in 2007 after his playing career was over.

Lynn Sullivan, director of community development, at New Canaan Country School, said they are pleased to host Amaechi.

"It is our hope that John can move us beyond good intentions and toward deliberate actions," Sullivan said in an emailed statement. "We understand that we are living in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world and with John’s bird's-eye view, having lived and worked in over a dozen countries, he is well positioned to provide access to trends and practices beyond our school walls."

She said he has extensive experience in organizational leadership, strategic diversity and inclusion management in both the public and private sector.  He has worked internationally in numerous finance industries, nonprofits and community organizations.

Amaechi brings a unique perspective as a former NBA player who has gone on to wide success in his post-professional career, she said.

"John’s expertise in emotional intelligence from a social science perspective, will bring greater clarity and purpose to all school constituents so that we may leverage what we’ve learned as we embark on our own community development strategic planning process," Sullivan said.

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