Alumni update: Ajuda Nywesh hits overseas courts

Published 8:23 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Basketball has taken Austin grad Ajuda Nywesh to North Dakota, Tennessee and back to Minnesota. Now it’s taken him across the Atlantic Ocean for a 5,246 mile trek to Skopje in North Macedonia.

Nywesh has been playing for Vardar Skopje in a professional league and he’s off to a hot start as he is averaging 17.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game, while shooting 56.8 percent from the field. Nywesh hasn’t played in an organized basketball game since 2017 when he was with the University of Minnesota-Crookston, but he was able to land on Vardar’s roster when he traveled with his cousin for a pre-practice tryout.

Nywesh has rekindled his love for basketball overseas and he’s learning a whole lot about Northern Macedonia, which borders Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Albania.

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“Playing overseas is inspiring and the brand of basketball is beautiful. It’s more team oriented less one-on-one and the fans are a little bit more on the edge,” Nywesh said. “Living overseas is fun because I’m adjusting to a whole different culture. I miss my family but the sacrifice I’m making will one day give them the opportunity to be here with me and enjoy the hard work that’s been put in since I started playing serious basketball in ninth grade.”

Austin grad Ajuda Nywesh plays defense for BC VARDAR, from Skopje, Macedonia this season. Photo provided

Darko Radulovic, head coach of Vardar, said the team plays in the highest league in Macedonia and its goal is to promote young players. Last year the league began adding foreign players to increase the quality of play.

Radulovic compared the level of play to that of the Bosnian, Montenegro and Croatian leagues and he said Nywesh has found his stride early.

“He’s been improving all the time, and I’m sure will improve even more,” Radulovic said. “His shooting capabilities are great, also he is great in running the transition and stealing balls. We are working on some defensive matters now, so I hope in short time he will be very good in that segments as well.

After playing in three state tournaments with the Packers, Nywesh finished with 1,000 career points in two years at Lake Region College and he spent a brief time with Division I Tennessee Martin University before transferring out. He’s hoping some current Packers, including his younger brother Agwa, can make their own run into the college ranks.

“The kids that are using basketball as a vehicle to get out of Austin is what drives me,” Nywesh said. “I feel it’s my responsibility to pioneer the path so all they have to do is follow the path and eventually break free to create their own path.”

Nywesh said he’s hoping to eventually find a way to help out in Africa as the heartwork4betterdayz Team/Brand that he works with is looking to get involved in that continent as well.

“I know kids need opportunity out there (in Africa) and using education and sports as a vehicle will not only help them, it will also help the up-and-coming generations after them,” Nywesh said. “I feel like my calling is helping in places with limited resources. Getting up in the morning is way easier when all I have to do is walk in arenas and hit game winners for kids that need opportunity.”