Episode 128 - Georges Niang : Put Your Best Foot Forward

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Georges Niang is a 6’8", 230lb power forward for the Utah Jazz. If there is one thing that has changed the most about him since entering the NBA in 2016, it’s realizing what truly matters to him is living and experiencing life with the people that mean the most to him.

Born and raised in Metheun, MA, he knew he wanted to be an NBA player since he was a child. Not having any professional athletes come from his hometown, he wanted to be an example that it was possible. Being raised by biracial parents heavily influenced him in a positive way as he was able to live and see the world from two different perspectives.

He attended Titlon School in New Hampshire where he was a 3 year starter, 2 year captain scoring 2,372 points. Getting offers from University of IowaProvidence CollegeTexas A&M, he committed and played at Iowa State. After graduating, he entered the 2016 NBA draft where he was selected as the 50th overall pick from the Indiana Pacers.

After 1 year with the Pacers and a year playing in the G-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors, he now has a standard contract with the Utah Jazz where he rocks number 31. Taking his career step by step, developing routines and being proactive about his health has been crucial in getting him to where he is today. He says the key to staying focused and calm during games is being present and doing his absolute best.

In this Episode George discusses success isn’t a place it’s the journey, recognizing that our time is valuable, don’t ever think you can’t achieve something and why you should always put your best foot forward.

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Podcast Outline (Time Markers for Audio Version Only)

  • The biggest sacrifice he’s made in becoming a NBA player: time (4:30)

  • Deciding he wanted to become an NBA Basketball player and using doubt from other people as motivation (8:10)

  • Taking it step by step and focusing on what’s in front of him today (10:50)

  • Put your best foot forward (13:05)

  • Born/raised in Metheun, MA. Not having any professional athletes from his town, he wanted to be an example that it was possible. (14:05)

  • Mother sacrificed her money/time to give George the best life she could provide. Best advice she gave him, “if it was easy, everybody would be doing it” (17:00)

  • Having biracial parents was very influential on him which allowed him to see viewpoints from two different sides. Father was from Africa (Cape Verdean in him), mother was from Boston (Italian descent) (17:40)

  • 3 Year starter, 2 year captain, greatest player to ever attend Tilton School (private boarding school in NH) with 2,372 points (21:40)

  • Being introduced to Coach Noah LaRoche & attending his “Integrity Hoops” program. Worked out with him 6 days a week in the summer. (23:15)

  • Gets offers from University of Iowa, Province College, Texas A&M and ends up choosing Iowa State. Head coach was the first high major coach to offer George a scholarship his junior year of high school (26:20)

  • During his sophomore year, breaks his fifth metatarsal in his right food during the NCAA tournament (31:40)

  • Gets selected as the 50th overall pick by the Indian Pacers in the 2016 NBA Draft (34:15)

  • Routines hold us accountable even on the days we’re not feeling it (37:50)

  • Mental life coaches, physical therapists and being proactive is what helps George operate (39:15)

  • After 1 year with the Pacers, George signs with the Golden State Warriors G-League Team, Santa Cruz Warriors. Committing to his routine helped him get back on track (41:35)

  • Two way contact with Utah Jazz & Salt Lake City Stars turns into his now contract with the Jazz. What’s changed the most about him since entering the NBA is realizing what actually matters  (46:55)

  • Gameday routines: Team meetings, relax, visualizing the game beforehand, shoot around, light lift to get the blood flowing etc (51:15)

  • Walking into the TD Garden for the first time was something special being that he’s a Celtics Fan (55:05)

  • Being present helps George stay focused on the game and not get distracted by the fans / environment he’s in (55:55)

  • If he could give any advice to the George walking into his freshman year of high school: bettering yourself at things other than basketball is still as important (58:45)

  • Having a positive perspective on life regardless of the circustmance he’s in (63:20)

  • If he could cross off any 1 bucket list item today it be to take his family on a big vacation (65:40)

  • His definition of success is being happy with the journey he’s chosen in life (67:40)

  • George’s purpose is to be a positive influence and remind people to never give up (69:35)

  • Ask Bobbay any 1 question: What is your end goal? Where do you see yourself / where do you want to be? (70:55)

  • Where to find George on social

  • Best advice for finding a passion/purpose (78:15)

    • Trial & error. Don’t stop trying things even if you haven’t found the thing.

    • Always be yourself