Thursday, December 6, 2018
By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
PHOENIX, Arizona —The focus for much of the night was on the history making efforts of Buddy Hield and Deandre Ayton, but another Bahamaian basketball figure continues to make his mark on the sidelines.
Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn is currently on staff with the Phoenix Suns in their front office with a role in player development this season.
Nairn was in the midst of preparing his pursuit of a professional career on the court when he got the NBA opportunity with the Suns to take his career in another direction.
“It was kind of a crazy thing,” he said. “A week and-a-half before the draft they called me and just loved what I did in college and wanted me to be a part of the organisation.”
Heralded for his leadership skills during his tenure in East Lansing, Michigan, Nairn was awarded the Stephen G Scofes Inspirational Player Award for three straight seasons.
He also said his new career path gave him an opportunity to witness the everyday development of Deandre Ayton.
“Just being able to touch the players and work on their skill development is a blessing. I don’t really get to work with Deandre one on one but I help the other coaches out with whatever they need.
“It’s been good to be here with him and see how great of a player he actually is firsthand. I watched him at Arizona but now watching him close up everyday has been good.”
The appointment with the Suns added another milestone during a year for Nairn. The new job came after he penned his debut as an author with an autobiography entitled “Purpose Driven.”
“It’s a blessing just to be able to write a book coming where I come from, living in Bain Town in Nassau, just to do that is something special for me,” he said.
“I finished the book around July 17 so I’ve been at it for a while but being able to accomplish that and move on to this, where I’m from people don’t get to do that. To see Buddy and Deandre on this level and myself in coaching, it just helps other kids back home to see that they can do the same thing.”
The book details the story of Nairn’s life and his journey from the Bahamas to elite Division I NCAA basketball and beyond.
“I did not write Purpose Driven for people to look at what I went through and say, ‘Wow Tum has been through a lot.’ I wrote it because I wanted people to read what I went through and reflect on what they are going through and say, ‘If Tum can make it through what he went through, I can make it through what I’m going through,’” Nairn posted on Instagram. “By the grace of God, writing this book has been one of my greatest accomplishments yet. I pray you are all inspired and motivated to never give up no matter what you’re going through. You’re going through it, you don’t have to stay there! So don’t stop! Stay tuned for the release date! Stay Purpose Driven.”
Nairn was also the former high school teammate of Hield at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas before both parted ways for their respective collegiate careers.
The two shared a moment prior to the Suns and Kings matchup. “Tum Tum is like a brother to me. He’s not playing professional basketball but he found a way in the sport to make a living for himself and his family and that’s a great thing,” Hield said.
“I know his book is going to be a success because his story is amazing and he has so many life lessons to share with people. I’m going to buy a bunch of his books and make sure kids back home can have them and be inspired by his story to get to where he is today.”