A Nigerian native who emigrated to the United States at age 11, Alex Owumi’s exploits on the basketball court led him to a successful career as a small college player. Undrafted by the NBA, Owumi pursued his pro basketball dream overseas, eventually signing with Al-Nasr of Libya, a state-run athletic club privately funded by the family of then-Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi.Owumi’s tenure with Al-Nasr was interrupted by the Libyan uprising and resulting civil war.
Imprisoned in his Benghazi apartment for more than 2 weeks with no food, phone, Internet, or hope, Owumi wondered whether he would make it out of Libya alive. Despite his weakened condition and the dangers lurking in the city, he was able to escape Benghazi and flee the country. Smuggled to a refugee camp in Egypt, he was, much to his surprise, contacted by an Egyptian team seeking his services.
And so, in a bizarre, storybook ending, Owumi finished the year by helping lead the team to an unlikely league championship, earning league MVP honors in the process. Qaddafi’s Point Guard is a book about hope and longing, conflict (cultural, political, and military), and ultimately, triumph—to overcome obstacles and survive against the most desperate odds. In this edition, the Book Circle Online team discusses Alex Owumi’s book, Qaddaffi’s Point Guard.