A love of basketball led Bernard Williams to Asia. He now coaches kids in Singapore.
What’s your story?
I came to Asia with a basketball in my bag. I played professionally in Australia for Mount Gambier Pioneers. While in Australia I had the opportunity to coach children in community and schools basketball. That set off my passion to not just play basketball but to teach basketball as well.
What excites you most about your industry?
The opportunity to work with children from all around the world. Basketball is a sport that has become a popular culture sports with basketball players perceived as fashion icons. Due to this, basketball as a sport, breaks down barriers. Passion will show in the children’s desire to learn and that’s when I get parents and children showing up at the courts.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I played in the first Tiger Beer Cup in the late 90s sanctioned by the Basketball Association of Singapore at the old Geylang Indoor Stadium.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore is a hub for education and Singapore is starting to promote sports and active participation for all ages.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My mother gave me the best advice. She told me to go see the world through basketball.
Who inspires you?
Old school basketball players from the playground. They are everyday people who put their heart out to learn without fear of failing. That’s where learning takes place; that’s where real basketball takes place.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Parents will seek out coaches who fit the needs of their children. They will go the distance to find one.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Exercise more patience. I started out in business on my own and looking back I think I wasn’t mature enough. So I have learnt that things take time and you just have to see it through.
How do you unwind?
Time with the family, going to the beach to watch planes and playing with my kids.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Langkawi, beautiful island, amazing sunset and warm friendly people.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Steve Jobs’ exclusive biography. So much to learn from a man’s wealth of experience.
Shameless plug for your business:
Always giving out my business cards to anyone I meet.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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