Wed. Jun 26th, 2024

Be more Ali: The legacy left by KU student a year on

By Lara Hassan Nov 25, 2022
Ali Abucar AliCredit: Chiswick Gators

A year on from the death of KU student Ali Abucar Ali, his legacy remains strong at basketball club Chiswick Gators. 

The team motto is to “Be more Ali”, inspiring the players to emulate the kindness and pride for the club Ali held. 

Ali at a Chiswick Gators camp. Credit: Chiswick Gators

Michael Kwentoh, the head of Chiswick Gators basketball club said: “The legacy Ali has left behind is one of being kind to others, being dedicated and resilient.” 

Ali died in November 2021 after being stabbed whilst saving an elderly lady who was being attacked. 

The nature of his death is a constant reminder of his kind and benevolent manner.

Ali started coaching at Chiswick Gators basketball club at the age of 15 and played a key part in building the club up when it first started. 

He was part of the group of boys that persuaded Kwentoh to create a basketball team for them as they wanted to play competitively.

Ali at a game. Credit: Chiswick Gators

Kwentoh described Ali as a pioneer for the club, he said: “Ali was always on time he was someone who I could rely on. He was always there organising himself and his teammates.”

The club recently established the Coach Ali foundation, which is a registered charity that produces opportunities for the players to develop into coaching pathways just as Ali did. 

The aim of the charity is to provide financial assistance towards coaching and officiating courses for the players pursuing basketball as a career path. 

The club also has a variety of kit and t-shirts with pictures of Ali’s face on it, and if close attention is paid you can notice the number 51 scribbled onto the shoes of many children.

Number 51 is the kit number Ali played in before he died.

Daniel Ladj, a player at the club said: “I put the number 51 on my shoes to remind me of everything he stood for, to be calm and have integrity the court.” 

The club also includes the name Ali in their team shout as a way to pay tribute before games.

Ladj said: “Shouting for Ali gives us a reason to play, it motivates us to give our all on court.” 

Kwentoh said he introduced the shout as a way to keep Ali’s name alive and to take his name with them in every game they play.

From the Ali Award, given to acknowledge players commitment at basketball camps, to the establishment of the Coach Ali Foundation, it is undeniable that Ali has left an indelible mark on the club.

The u16 national basketball team has gone unbeaten so far this season with five wins under their belts.

They are hoping to do coach Ali proud and continue to dominate whenever they play, carrying his legacy with them on and off the court.

By Lara Hassan

Editor/Reporter Interests: Foreign correspondence, Middle Eastern matters, politics, fashion and sport.

Related Post