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Interview Report: Richard Gulwak – a Professional Basketball Player

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The person I have chosen to do my interview paper has been an inspiration to me, a symbol of hope and a role model for each African immigrant in the United States. He depicts the imagery of every single, young African dream in the U. S which is a land of opportunities where one would love to live. I believe his bravery and hard work is something that the young generation ought to follow, therefore, be ready for a fascinating and motivating interview.

Richard Gulwak, born October 8, 1988, in the suburbs of Juba, is currently a professional basketball player for Greensboro Swarm. He was born in one of the biggest suburbs of Juba, the capital and largest city in the current Republic of South Sudan. Jebel is the name of the neighborhood in which, the great Gulwak was born, raised by her mother. He lost his father in 1993, who died after their village was attacked by bandits, so he was raised by her struggling and poor mother. Though that did not stop him from reaching to greater highs. As a boy child in the Sudanese culture, one was perceived to be an asset to the community since males are seen as a sense of security, especially in Sudan where wars are just but a common act. During their childhood, they would be separated from girls and each given a specific task related to their gender.

Gulwak grew up felling to lack a piece of satisfaction, that was the father. Despite appreciating all her mother dedicated to bringing him up, he really missed the guidance of his father. In an African setting, the father figure is crucial in child development, especially for males, so he felt alienated in the society. He could get advice from his uncles who helped in guiding him all through to the person he is now. Being one of the luckiest, right to say chosen, Gulwak was able to attend a local school in Jebel. In the old days Africa, children would be allowed to go to school once reaching an age of at least four years. Therefore, in early 1993, Gulwak’s mother sold part of her livestock to help finance school fees for her young Gulwak. Dreams are valid! Gulwak was able to complete his childhood education and high school in the harsh and war-frequent Jebel. All he can say is that he was the among the chosen great people to change the morals and perceptions of the poor living in South Sudan. Due to his brightness at school, with a combination of his superb skills in athletes, mostly basketball, he was able to get a scholarship that would see him continue his studies in the University of Louisville, where he would advance his basketball carrier. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in International Public Relations at the University of Louisville and later absorbed in the university’s basketball team. With his Sudanese origin and a Nilotic Gulwak stands 6ft 8inch tall; therefore, he was advantaged, thus easily become a pro power forward who guided his university’s team secure the local championship.

During his time in the basketball team, he was able to display leadership qualities which earned him sportsmanship recognition both local and international. In his home country and Africa in general, he was the real deal. He inspired young African athletes to continue dreaming for what they want to be since the sky is the limit. Once, Gulwak was invited for an award-winning ceremony in the basketball industry where he scoped rookies award, thus making an unforgettable achievement for the University of Louisville basketball team. While receiving his award, he gave an emotional speech that caught everyone’s nerves. He started with the hard life he faced while in Sudan, being brought up by a single parent and living in a harsh and war invaded suburb of Jebel. He recalled the time he felt lonely in the community that did not believe in education, alienated for his educational efforts and success.

In Africa, education was seen as a white system to neocolonialism, therefore, perceived as a taboo for a young male from the Sudanese culture to learn the western ways. He believed in himself and kept the American dream “Land of Opportunities” as his only way out to help transform his community’s practice, culture and believes. It is through is athlete passion, that he utilized to become a success and role model to the young generation. In South Sudan, the religion practiced is Christianity and Muslim. Gulwak came from a Christian community. Therefore, he was a committed follower to the religion to the extent of preaching the gospel of Christ which you could easily tell from first his talking and secondly his virtues. He carried the Christian way with him up to date and continues to acknowledge the faith as the driving force to his great achievements. Despite being a Christian, Gulwak abides by the South Sudan culture and could look for one or two friends with Sudanese origin to share some great cultural stories and experiences in the U. S.

Prior to having realized his dream, Gulwak was at times traumatized by the past things that happened in his home country while still at Jebel, more of it being the death of his father, which was a result of bandit invasion. He recalls one day while going home from school, and he found two bodies of young men gunned down by the patrolling officers of the Sudan Republic. They lived in fear of war which was likely to erupt anytime, and with Jebel a suburb in Juba, it was more likely to be hit by the catastrophe. He once thought of how his basketball profession could help unite his people, but the situation was beyond control. Therefore, the political situation in his home country was a major concern, to the extent of affecting him carrier-wise.

Gulwak has been a victim of discrimination and racism. One occasion happened while playing for the University basketball team: “Being a power forward, you have to guard your basket firmly, we were having a heavily contested match with our University of Colorado basketball team when I stole the ball away, which was the final buzzer to win the match for our opponents, eventually, I heard the final whistle. As we were leaving to our dressing room, I heard an opponent player say that the game was won by the tall black African dude. ” Gulwak describes it as racism of the highest level he ever imagined someone would discriminate him because of his origin “I just felt like missing home, the place where I am a hero. ” Gulwak’s perseverance and hard work earned him a trial with the Greensboro Swarm team. He passed the trial and given his first professional NBA two-year contact. He was unable to secure the first-team spot, though he would give all his efforts once called upon by the manager. His passion for basketball was amazing, “basketball tuns in my veins, I live for it, eat it and therefore, it’s the whole me. ” I was amazed by his spirit for basketball, not to forget his long journey from a village boy of Jebel to a pro basketball player in Greensboro Swarm. Gulwak hugely benefited from the hard life he endured while in South Sudan, it shaped him to be optimistic in life. He continually reflects on the hardship in his maiden country and thinks something has to be done since he cannot control the situation, he uses basketball as a way to pass the message to the world, to put much effort to the suffering people of South Sudan. His fame cannot go unnoticed by the international community, thus made an ambassador of peace and food relief in his country. Having come from a Nilotic community, marriage is not an option, but a requirement. Therefore, Gulwak is no exemption to this, he is married and has a daughter, making a beautiful family in Louisville. His future plans are to start a basketball team in his country and become one of the technical staffs in the basketball fraternity. He would love to nurture young talents in the basketball industry and not only follow his footsteps but even become better and greater. His happiness is to see people prosper using both academic excellence and talents. Gulwak is worrying about discrimination of both his child and other while in Louisville, he could not imagine one of his family members being a victim of any form of racism or discrimination.

Gulwak is an example an African with an American dream, whose dream came true and an inspiration. Gulwak’s experiences compare with the notes on how family structure is crucial in shaping one’s future. It was a privilege getting to know this great and cheerful person. I would hope I get to interview persons of that statue, great history and humble as Gulwak. The experience was of its kind and a lesson to all that dreams are valid, and you can be anyone you want to be if you keep on working hard at it, just like Gulwak did to become great. Gulwak is an inspiration and model to every single child with passion and talent. What an opportunity I had while interviewing Richard Gulwak!

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Interview Report: Richard Gulwak – A Professional Basketball Player. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“Interview Report: Richard Gulwak – A Professional Basketball Player.” GradesFixer, 30 Apr. 2020,
Interview Report: Richard Gulwak – A Professional Basketball Player. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Oct. 2021].
Interview Report: Richard Gulwak – A Professional Basketball Player [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Apr 30 [cited 2021 Oct 25]. Available from:
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