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  • Mohammed Hussein

BBL Pro Nicholas Lewis Establishes A New Wave In British Basketball

Seven year professional hooper Nicholas Lewis who has spent most of his professional career in the British Basketball League has seen a diamond in the rough during his time at Sheffield. The British-Canadian guard has used his experiences as a professional basketball player to ignite his passion in the next stage of his career, establishing Make It Work Global.

Lewis has made waves with his company Make It Work Global in Sheffield whether that is by signing professional players to the brand like London Lions' Dirk Williams, creating partnerships with basketball academies across the country or hosting "The Runs" scrimmage in Sheffield during the summer creating new and fresh environment and culture for the sport of basketball the city hasn't had before.

We sat down and spoke with Nicholas Lewis on his motivations for MIWG & what he sees coming in future for his already established brand.

Image: Photograph taken by Adam Bates

What motivated you to create MIWG?

"Just because an athlete is part of an organization, does not mean that they know what lies on the road ahead in this basketball game.
I genuinely wanted to be able to give more opportunities to the youth who may not have the chance to receive any type of support or opportunities. There are so many different factors on why one could have fewer opportunities in basketball.
Many young athletes are not educated in terms of how to become successful. I believe that there is an actual way to get to the highest level, while most are out here playing games and relying on chance to get to the next level.
I’ve been through a lot of highs and lows of basketball throughout my career and I wanted to be able to give out the actual tools that were either hand crafted by myself through trial, error and observation or be able to open the door and provide further resources that athletes can have access to. The goal has always been to make things easier for the next generation - to teach and guide the youth to Make It Work."

Image: Nicholas Lewis Instagram

What made you want to innovate a basketball culture in Sheffield?

"Sheffield accepted me with open arms when I started my professional career in 2012. Majority of the people I know in the city currently play or have played basketball. I could see with my own eyes how big basketball was and how many people actually played the game in Sheffield. I also understood that basketball was not getting the representation it needed to make the sport bigger and more popular.
A sport with a larger stage and bigger audience opens the doors for youth to gain opportunities - simple maths. I knew the support needed to come from the city first. I knew that if I could help create a new wave and get the right people involved, we would be able to create a new recipe for basketball. What made me want to do it, is my love for the city, I think I love this city more than some people that are actually from here. No cap. I also believe that everyone should have a right to equal opportunities."

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

You’ve played in Britain for a long time, did the issues with British Basketball frighten you in creating a brand in the U.K ?

"I been through a lot of trials and tribulations through basketball while being in the UK. If anything, the basketball issues in the U.K has made my vision that much clearer. By this point, I know this is all Gods plan. To be frightened while on this journey would go against what we are trying to stand for and represent as a platform. It’s my goal every time to seize the right opportunities."

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

Where do you see the future of basketball culture in Sheffield reaching with the aid of MIWG?

"Realistically, the future is all in the kids, the youth of the Sheffield. Not the BBL. Not the Government. Over the past 4 months alone I’ve seen basketball grow tremendously in Sheffield. Every time I go on Instagram I see a new basketball page and I love it ! If our MakeItWorkSheffield IG page full of highlights is inspiring kids to go outside and play the game or even to pick up a camera and take pictures of the game itself, I believe that would mean that our job is done.
An astronaut was once a baby - in this case, the youth of Sheffield will be the ones to transform the basketball culture. Make It Work is here to help the youth."

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

What inspires and motivates you to collab with several academies in the U.K?

"I know for a fact that there is strength in numbers. If there are more people involved behind the brand then that means that we will have a better chance of reaching out to more youth in different communities. Many student athletes are going through the same type of hardships when it comes to basketball in the U.K, not enough exposure, not enough resources. As the Make It Work Global community grows, so does our resources and we are motivated by the idea of being able to give the youth fair and equal opportunities to those who deserve it."

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

How many academies have MIWG partnered with?

"We are currently partnered with and supply sport apparel for the following, the list is growing rapidly and we look forward to future projects with these teams, a lot of good talent."
  • The Sheffield College (Sheffield)

  • Riverside Basketball Academy (London)

  • University Of Bristol (Bristol)

  • Barnsley Sports Academy (Barnsley, South Yorkshire)

  • Sheffield Hallam University (Sheffield)

  • Oakwood Academy (Sheffield)

  • Sheffield Park Academy (Sheffield)

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

Do you see MIWG partnering with the BBL in the future?

"The sky is the limit! As a team (MIWG), we do not turn down partnerships with anybody, and are always looking to work with the right people. I Don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ve always wanted to start our very own Make It Work Global team in the BBL. I guess I can leave it at that but if the BBL holla’s at me, I am sure we will be able to Make It Work."

Image: Make It Work Global Instagram

Despite it only being early days in for MIWG it is clear to see that the passion, intention and work ethic is in place for Lewis and his team to create waves in British basketball culture and hopefully add a new flavour to it that could possibly see the sport at new heights.

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