John Amaechi OBE

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Psychologist & British NBA Hero

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John was the first Brit to play at the top level of US basketball, once declining a $17m transfer fee. He’s now a respected cognitive psychologist, performance expert, and founder of a major community sport initiative in Manchester. John brings his research and competitive experience to bear on the management challenges: how do you improve resilience, reduce stress and turn managers into coaches? And how do you distinguish between effective and ineffective motivational tactics?


John Amaechi is a psychologist and performance expert. Prior to undertaking his PhD he enjoyed a successful career in the NBA, one of the first Brits to play professionally at the top level of the sport. After a seven-year contract with the most successful team in American sport, he was duly inducted into the US Basketball Hall of Fame.

John now helps individuals and organisations to improve communication, leadership and culture. In doing so he helps them uncover new methods of growth, improvement and achievement. His psychological insight helps individuals and teams understand the barriers to achievement and to overcome them. Transforming and inspiring, he draws together concepts of motivation, personal development and the roots of success and enables these traits to flourish. He also considers the nature of competition, the importance of diversity in group achievement, and aligning personal and business values and ethics. John’s experience is immense and his formula applies to anyone, in any walk of life, personally and professionally.

Whilst playing, John won widespread respect for his ability to overcome adversity, including life-threatening injury. He was described by one commentator as ‘a player with little innate physical talent, who rose to remarkable heights on the back of terrific will and a tremendous strategy.’ Despite never having picked up a basketball until the age of 17, John went on to a starting five position with the Cleveland Cavaliers in just six years. He puts this down to drive, planning and perseverance as much as physical skill. Characteristics he now seeks to instil in others.

After retiring from basketball, John pursued a PhD in psychology, co-authoring a paper on self-esteem and goal setting, and becoming a leadership and performance expert. He has also founded the ABC Foundation, which seeks to increase physical activity amongst youths and encourage community cohesion.

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