Amadu Barrie knows a thing or two about making sacrifices. The talented 16-year-old combo guard has watched his mom make compromises to make his basketball dream a reality since he was 10-years-old. And every year while practicing Ramadan- the holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims, he has to make a big one himself.
“During the summer I have to fast, and it’s very hard to fast and pray and train every day cause I’m hungry all the time,” he said.
But Barrie doesn’t mind the sacrifices because he knows that the rewards will be just as great, and he’s preparing for that.
“My drive is to get a scholarship and help out my mom because she’s been paying a lot for basketball. I really wanna play D1 basketball, and I don’t want to have her pay for that since she’s been supporting me and paying for everything else. I really want to get a full-ride scholarship,” he said.
Although he’s now planning a future around basketball, it wasn’t always his sport of choice. Barrie was a soccer player who played for recreational clubs in his hometown of Lawrence & Dufferin in Toronto, Canada. It was a friend who “dragged” Barrie to play basketball with him after school and sparked his interest in the game.
By seventh grade, he got a glimpse of his true potential when he scored 28 points in a game while playing for Truth Recreational Club. And even though that’s a feat he’s yet to achieve again, he believes it’s still possible.
“It’s really about determination, hard work. Getting up every day, going with a fixed schedule, and doing what you need to do to be great." Amadu Barrie
Since joining the P.H.A.S.E.1 Toronto Academy last year, Barrie shared that he has noticed improvements within himself that will propel him to achieve greatness.
“I think I’ve gotten more aggressive since being a part of the academy, I’ve gotten faster,” he said.
Adding; “I really like my coach, and I have a good relationship with my teammates.”
And with a role model like Muslim basketball player Kyrie Irving offering him hope, his family giving him support, and a strong mindset and desire to work hard, Barrie is taking his game in strides, confident that whatever is for him, will find its way.
“Wherever it takes me if I end up playing pro after D1, then I’ll do that. But if I don’t, then I’ll be fine with that.”