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I remember going to work and people looking at me like, "Why are you here? People look at basketball players and think, "Oh they have money, they have fame, they have adoration. Happiness is about being comfortable and safe and normal. Looking to pick up a cute girl for the fun evening? When I was growing up in Africa, there were two major figures that represented the nation. I didn't pay attention to all the bad stuff, the Lockerbie bombing and whatever. Buy the book here MH: Qaddafi's first public execution was at a basketball stadium in Benghazi in the mid-'80s. MH: It's starting to make more sense why you took the Libya offer. MH: You were living in Mutassim's apartment for awhile, right? So they sent me to the oil fields, and showed me the whole process with the barrels. I was like, this might be something I could get into. I'd like to get involved." I believe I would have gotten there, sooner or later. Those words and those voices, they kept coming into my head. MH: The stadiums were really heated with flaming trash cans? During practices, we'd be wearing gloves and hooded sweatshirts, just to try and keep warm. I either accepted it or left, and I wasn't ready to give up. I'm glad I got out of there before something really unfortunate happened. I remember once, I was curious about how they made money with their oil. I was like, "You guys are making a lot of money here. Owumi was trapped in an apartment—on loan from one of Qaddafi's sons—for 16 days without food, water, or any connection to the outside world, while he listened and watched unspeakable acts of violence outside. You and your brothers are all princes but only one of you becomes king? "I can see a group of men pulling the bodies of police officers from the smoke," he recalls in his book. AO: Everybody in the family becomes a chief, which is our version of a king. AO: Two of my older brothers, my sister, who's actually a year younger than me, and my father and mother are all chiefs in our village. He said yes, and the timing couldn't have been worse. Everybody in the village comes out to greet you, and there's a big ritual with costumes and dancing. He moved to his new home in December 2010, and by mid-February Libya was in the middle of a revolution. Hopefully I'll do it soon, sooner than later, because it's pretty embarrassing when I go to my parent's house and I see all the jewelry, all the expensive gold, and my name's not on any of it. That's all I know about royalty, is that the ruler wears a crown.

I was going to be the highest-paid player in the Middle East ever. The guy Ronald Reagan once called the "mad dog of the Middle East." Yeah, him. MH: Anyway, moving on to the real meat and potatoes of your memoir. He once played basketball for Al-Nasr Benghazi, a Libyan club bankrolled by the Qaddafi family—as in Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator with a fondness for military uniforms and all-female Amazonian bodyguards. He was probably the richest man in the world, at least off the books. I knew I had to leave, and when the Libya opportunity came about, and they told me how much they wanted me to play for them, I didn't think twice about it. "I can see children running from the scene with handguns, machetes, rifles." And that's before things got .] Nope, I'm real. One was Nelson Mandela, and the other was Muammar Gaddafi. AO: It was just a really bad situation for a black man.

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