Meet Shuaib M. Shuaib. A former basketball player who wants to shape regional basketball players into the ultimate form of themselves: better, faster, and stronger. Working a full time job from 8am to 5pm and then running Q8Hoops as a one-man team from 6pm to 10pm, it’s no wonder that he lives by the motto “No days off”, which leads to the self-explanatory increasing popularity and success of his organization Q8Hoops amongst basketball players in the region.
Ghadeer Al-Otaibi: A little introduction about yourself?
Shuaib Shuaib: It’s quite funny actually. I started off basketball as a soccer player. In one summer, my cousin and myself transferred from one sport to another, and fell immediately in love with it and never looked back. Our parents have a sports background that’s why we’re quite in the loop. My dad was a soccer player, my uncle was a basketball player and another a volleyball player. I started playing basketball in 1993 and I continued up until 1999. Ended up moving to the States where I tried out for a school to play college basketball, and made the cut from 300 players down to 30, but unlucky for me that all the 30 players ended being dismissed. Since then, all I’ve been doing is playing pick up games, and being around the sport as much as possible, and that is how I met trainers who do what I do now.
G.A.: So tell me a little bit about Q8Hoops and the programs that you run?
S.S: Q8Hoops is a basketball-based project that develops basketball player’s skills, as well as trains them and just helps them reach the best of their capabilities. It was established in 2011 and its main goal is to bring the latest and most advanced basketball skills training, strength & conditioning, injury reduction, nutrition tips, and drills to aid players in increasing their basketball potential. I have two types of programs that I run: Preseason and in-season. The structure is the same for both, 12 sessions a month, 3 times a week. I’ve designed it in a way to include everything: fitness and basketball, all in one hour. Preseason requires lots of hard training to work on speed, agility, power, quickness and reaction, basically a lot of drills that don’t actually involve basketball. In-season is much lighter, because the guys already play basketball and have their team trainings and during their recovery days, they choose to train with me. We work on the weaker spots as well as shooting/dribble maintenance. I have 3 types of players that I work with: First team players, the youth, and street ballers.
G.A.: What made you want to implement this sort of program in Kuwait?
S.S: To be honest, since I left in 1999, I haven’t been around the game in Kuwait. After watching a few of the games last season, I saw how the game standards had dropped since the 90s. Back in the 90s we didn’t have professionals from the States and Europe playing in our league, and now that we do, the game isn’t getting any better. The main drive behind this program was seeing the hunger and drive that most of these players had, so my motive was to try to develop the game from one angle. But it’s very hard to do that with no support! Also, the type of training we use is the NBA pre-drafting program. Ganon Baker and Allan Stein are my secret weapons. Their program is purely about skills and basketball fitness and conditioning; I tweaked it up and added the Nike-SPARQ aspect to it. One of the important people that deserves acknowledgement is Abdullah Al-Askari; I learnt from him very important techniques on how to gain strength, verticality and power.
G.A.: Do you think we have players up to Western standards in Kuwait?
S.S: Of course! Yes, yes, yes! Such as Meshari Bud’hom and Hussain Shuaib. They are amazing players and very skilled compared to the level of training they are receiving in here. If you were to take them to and place them in the states by THIS summer, I am sure that they would blend and be able to play. The only problem is most of the good players here, the young ones, have a low GPA that would make it hard for them to play and keep up with the educational standards of playing in the West.
G.A.: So what does the future of Q8Hoops hold?
S.S: I’m actually in the process of organizing a summer camp for the youth, not going to be doing it alone though. Will be relying on the youth coaches to motivate the youth players. Keep them fit and active and help open up opportunities for them. Also as well as that, will be running an annual Q8Hoops tournament, but more to come on that later.
So attention to all you basketball players out there, if you are looking for that little bit of extra attention to take you up to that next level, get in contact with Q8Hoops. Be warned though, the sessions are not for the faint hearted. (The pictures taken are from one of Shuaib’s favorite members and the best local basketball player this season, Rashid AlRubah)