Kibwe Trim was praised for his initiative in giving back to the students of his alma mater, St Mary’s College (CIC), when he launched his first book “From Nerd to Pro” yesterday at the school in Port of Spain.

Trim, a former pro basketballer, answered questions from students about his life, including his journey from a student at St Mary’s to a pro basketballer.

Trim said he always comes back to St Mary’s as it is where his journey began. “I am a proud St Mary’s College old boy, so that is the reason we are here. Anytime I can do something in Trinidad, I always gravitate towards St Mary’s first, because they gave me the foundation to do everything I have done in life.”

One of Trim’s messages to the students was the importance of balancing sport and academics. “They go hand in hand, because at any level, if you look at it, in order to get a scholarship to play basketball, you have to pass the SATs. If you can’t pass the SATs, you can’t go to a division one university, and when you get to university, if you don’t have a certain grade point average, you are not going to play.”

The book is part of Trim’s DreamChaser International Foundation — an initiative which aims to motivate young people in different ways and get them on the right path.

Speaking about the foundation, Trim said, “We do tutoring, mentoring and financial aid for kids that are doing well academically and in some sort of sport or some sort of discipline, whether it is the arts or entertainment.”

St Mary’s history teacher Jerome Spence, a former schoolmate of Trim at St Mary’s, explained why he allowed his class to attend the book launch.

“I am always grateful to Kibwe for coming back and giving back to the boys. Knowing Kibwe personally, he is a positive person and I just wanted the boys to meet someone who had overcome what persons might consider circumstances that could be negative and make that into a positive.”

President of the TT Olympic Committee Brian Lewis said, “I think it is an excellent initiative, From Nerd to Pro, he is showing the young people and the youth of Trinidad and Tobago that you can achieve it once you have the discipline, determination and the commitment.”