Posted on March 30, 2018

On Thursday 29 March, the Year 7 students at Qatar International School (QIS) were surprised with a visit from Qatar's 3x3 basketball World Champion Yaseen Ismail. The legend visited the school to share his experiences and advice with the students who have been working hard on an Olympic project in their English class for the past term.

Yaseen awarded prizes to the best student projects, before speaking to them about his achievements in basketball, the benefits of participating in sport and what it takes to make it to the top. He then took them outside for a masterclass on how to perfect the basketball shooting technique, with every student having the opportunity to shoot a hoop and gain tips from Yaseen.

Speaking to the students, Yaseen said: "When I was your age I never played or liked basketball but from the age of 14 I tried and never stopped playing ever since. I would like to see you try the sport as well - come down to the Qatar Basketball Federation where I'm giving 3x3 basketball classes. Sport is very important but balancing between studies and exercise is vital to any athletes' success in life. Take advantage of the summer season - do not eat junk food, practice 2 hours a day and who knows you might become a professional player one day!"

The students were assigned to work in groups and come up with an advertising campaign for Qatar to host the Olympics. The students were required to use different types of persuasive and descriptive writing for their projects and come up with creative ideas for the Opening Ceremony of the Games. The standard of the projects was incredibly high, with the students encapsulating the true spirit of Qatar and of the Olympics in their campaigns. Yaseen Ismail was a professional basketball player for more than 20 years and helped Team Qatar win multiple World, Asian, Arab and Gulf titles. In 2014, he made history as part of the 3x3 team that became the Middle East's first-ever World Champions. Other titles he owns with the team include Asian Champions, Arab Champions, 8-time Gulf Champions and 8-time Emir Cup Champions.

The students were incredibly excited by Yaseen's visit and inspired by his motivational words and basketball coaching and guidance. There were final opportunities for selfies before he left so that the students could have their own memories from the day that a basketball legend came to school.