Alexis Ajinca Shares His Love of Basketball, Family & Fashion

Photographer: Will Kennedy

“It is great to play basketball overseas but ask anybody that plays basketball in any country. The dream has always been the NBA.”

Alexis Ajinca, player on the New Orleans Pelicans, embodies what most people would consider to be ‘The American Dream.’ Born in France, Ajinca came to the states focused on making it to the NBA. This self-proclaimed “big man” has some big heroes that inspired his hoop dreams. Major players like Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki were role models that set the bar for Ajinca to look up to.

Now Ajinca’s passion is turning to fashion. This competitor is serious about his style and offers some easy tips to getting the perfect outfit.

Photographer: Will Kennedy

“On Instagram nowadays, you can look up a lot of pictures of different models and fashion shows. You can copy and see what you like. Basically trying to recreate the same thing, maybe with different colors and add your own self to it. I like a nice suit but you have different types of suits.  You have a 3pc suit, 2pc suit, different styles of the shirts and I like that.”

When deciding on a more casual look, Ajinca’s distressed denim and rocker tee gives him the look he needs for a great date night. Don’t forget to include the wrist accessories.

“For whatever reason, I love skulls. I would wear something like that on my wrist and have a matching watch to go with it. Accessories with men are so much better if you don’t go with just a [gold] chain. Put a black chain, or a different type of chain, it would change the whole look.”

Outside of basketball, the athlete’s time is best spent as a family man. Ajinca and his wife have a foundation called Ajinca T.R.U. Home that focuses on supporting the homeless community of Louisiana get back on their feet. Detailing his first experiences in New Orleans, Ajinca emphasizes, “I never had any experience like this.”

Photographer: Will Kennedy

“When we first arrived in New Orleans, a lot of people were under the bridges. Downtown they have tents and some people come in and we give them food. My wife, my best friend and I would go to the store and buy a bunch of water and sandwiches. We would just give them what we can and it pretty much started from there.”

These selfless acts show how big of a heart the athlete has. Through his charming French accent, Ajinca shares how the love of his family motivates him throughout the game.

“I love seeing the smile on my kids when I’m watching them on the court. They’re always cheering for me. You never really know what’s love until you have a kid. The best feeling in the world is your own son coming back from a trip and jumping on you saying ‘daddy i miss you.’ That’s the best moment right there.”

Daylin

Perpetually inspired by Jay-Z lyrics and Kanye tweets.