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Haynes: Nicolas Batum Gets Mind Right With Trip To Cameroon

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Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum reflects on a recent trip to Africa.

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum did a little soul-searching on a recent trip to Cameroon, the African nation where his grandparents lived and his father was born.

"It's been ten years and I felt like I had to go back to Cameroon because now I'm a NBA player and not a little kid in middle school," Batum said. "When I was 13, I had nice sneakers and video games and I remember how I felt seeing others with nothing. I grew up understanding how lucky I was. But, at some point, I think I forgot and that's why I decided to go back and see how my family was doing and see what I could do to help them.

...

"There were like 20 orphans living in a two-bedroom place," Batum said. When I saw that, I was like, 'Why do we complain? Why do I complain? Why am I complaining for nothing?' These kids were happy to see me and they were smiling because they knew who I was. They were just happy to be around me. I remember complaining about how my shower was too cold the other night and thinking to myself, 'How silly.'"

...

"I was just shocked how 14-year old girls were raising their brothers and sisters,"Batum said. "They couldn't even go to school because they had to work. I told them, 'You are part of this world, too. You can become something in society.' But, mostly I just listened."

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter