By Tom Ballato
Nurideen Lindsey was born and raised in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A place marred by violence. Lindsey attended Overbrook High School where he was a scoring machine, but he did not focus on his academics. Then he was out of basketball.
Lindsey was out of basketball and at one point he thought he would never play again. “It started after my junior year of high school, at Overbrook, where I averaged 35 (points per game) that season, and was so excited about the following season, which would have been my senior year. I never got the chance to play that year. Grades weren’t good enough to qualify, I ended up sitting out and not playing any basketball at all my senior year.”
His senior year, Lindsey lost two of the most important people in his life. He lost his friend to cancer and his younger brother, Halim was murdered. They were two of his biggest supporters. After their deaths, Nurideen dropped out of high school and quit basketball altogether.
After a two year hiatus from basketball, he decided it was time to find his love and passion again. “My mom would talk to me about finding my love again and getting out of that sunken place of depression and heartache I was in, and I met a guy name Harry Williams. Someone who I consider now a brother. He was such a blessing for me and my growth.” These two along with the memory of his friend and brother helped Nurideen chase the dream once again.
Nurideen left Philadelphia and headed to Oklahoma. He went to a Redlands Community College and played for one year. Playing basketball again was a big milestone and a great feeling for Lindsey. He even excelled academically and received his associates degree. “I was playing with and for a purpose. I had thought I enjoyed basketball up until that point, but I really didn’t. It was just something to escape the streets. Once I got to Redlands, I had so much to play for. My family. My brother, my friend. The people who didn’t believe I could make it on the Redlands level. The people who didn’t think I could do it academically. Everything I needed was against me, for me to succeed. I fed off of that. It was so much motivation for me. To see so many people still doubting me, and didn’t want to see me succeed, after all of what I’ve been through up until that point, was so much motivation.”
That one year at Redlands lead Lindsey to Queens, New York to play for Steve Lavin at St. John’s University in 2012. His time at St. John’s was short lived, he appeared in 9 games while averaging 11.8 points per game. He transferred out after his first semester on campus. When asked about his time at St. John’s, Lindsey said, “I loved St.Johns. Still do! The most fun I’ve EVER had playing basketball, and I’ve built some life long relationships through being there also. It was a great experience for me. Could’ve been better, and I wish it could have been. For the fans … They deserved it. I left because of personal family issues. My mother’s health at the time wasn’t too well, and that was a major concern for me. Had to make the best decision for me and what my family needed at the time.”
Lindsey transferred to Rider in New Jersey in 2012. He received a hardship waiver from the NCAA which made him immediately eligible to play instead of sitting out the first semester and starting in December. He played one season at Rider before opting to go pro. When asked why he only stayed one season after transferring from St. John’s, Lindsey responded, “I never agreed to staying any specific amount of time. The plan was to stay as long as I needed. Grow, learn, and then go succeed on that level. Things just didn’t workout.” Lindsey played in 32 games and averaged 8 points per game in his one season at Rider.
His collegiate career ended after just 41 games and two schools. That wasn’t it though for Lindsey. He had a handful of NBA workouts before the NBA Draft, workouts with teams that included the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Bobcats, and Los Angeles Lakers. He ultimately went undrafted in 2013, but went on to play professionally overseas and got drafted in the NBA Developmental League (NBA D-League), but never played in a game. “I’ve been to a few places, I never had any interest on playing outside of the states.”
After a bad car accident two years ago, Lindsey is currently not playing basketball. He was ready to go to Greece for an opportunity, but has not been physically the same since the accident.
“I’ve been working with helping in basketball anyway I can, getting kids into schools, etc..My main field now is fashion. Creative designing, creative consulting, modeling. I’ve always had a love for art and fashion.”
Although Lindsey’s basketball career might be over, he continues to pursue his dreams with the support of his girlfriend, Ashley and the people that he continues to work for…his family.
*Special thanks to Saquan Stimpson at www.monsterphotoiso.com for the photo.