Where Your Journey to Achieve Your Personal Best Begins
When then 16-year-old Bassamba Sao left his native Mali in West Africa with a meager $427 in his pocket, destined for the United States, little could he imagine the journey that awaited him. Mali, where approximately half the population subsists on less than $1.25 per day, was an unlikely backdrop for young Bassamba, whose passion it was to pursue a career in the NBA. He possessed the required height to succeed in basketball and, strangely enough, he also possessed the dream and the desire to succeed that towered above his 6’7” frame. Bassamba’s dream to play in the NBA was cut short with a career ending injury, but his passion to succeed and indomitable spirit were undeterred.
Since earning undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Political Science, and Business Administration and two master’s degrees, Bassamba has combined the teaching, training, and motivational skills learned as a professional athlete to help others achieve their highest fitness, nutritional, and lifestyle goals. Founder and owner of Farragut-based Greatness Fitness, Bassamba and his team of experienced and dedicated fitness experts have helped many people from all walks of life achieve their personal best.
In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are excited to feature Greatness Fitness and its founder, Bassamba Sao.
EK: It would appear that so many of your life’s experiences prepared you and were requisites for your success at Greatness Fitness. Explain.
Bassamba: It has not been an easy road but nonetheless a blessing for being fortunate to experience so much at an early stage of my life. Being able to use that experience as an asset in the present is what I call a miracle from the heavens. Before responding, let me start by saying that we are grateful for this opportunity to help people learn more about Greatness Fitness. Personally, my life has been a series of blessings sometime disguised in hardships. I am fortunate to have been raised by an amazing woman who believed in me so much that she dedicated her entire life to teaching me what’s important in life and what to stand for no matter what the circumstances. That woman was my dear grandmother, Kadidia Tamboura. She taught me this in her own words: If you help everyone to be in the light and help them all shine, your life will never be in darkness again, ever. It’s the art of serving genuinely while being mindful that things won’t be as easy as you may wish in the journey called life. Life can be hard; we will occasionally fall on our faces, but it’s the process of getting up and facing your challenges, stronger and wiser, that will make the difference. Adversity is inevitable, but I chose not to let mine become an excuse. I wouldn’t be who I am today if my journey didn’t include unfortunate events. It’s not what happens to you in life that determines where you will end up, but rather how to respond to your personal challenges.
EK: How have you been able to successfully instill into others your passion to succeed and to become their personal best?
Bassamba: It’s a work in progress. Genuine passion is contagious. Our dedication to greatness is a commitment we hope to instill into everyone we serve at Greatness Fitness. We are passionate about your well-being. Like the insights my grandmother shared with me as a child, it is my desire to help brighten the lives of others. We are a family at Greatness Fitness, and we take our dedication to you very seriously. At Greatness Fitness, we have seen miracles happen in the lives of people who have tried unsuccessfully to achieve their well-being goals in the past.
EK: How does Greatness Fitness differ from other fitness venues?
Bassamba: It’s our underlying philosophy and the fact that we had to be different if our clients were to succeed. We embrace a variety of characteristics not often experienced in our industry, including humility, knowledge, honesty, integrity, consistency, and a commitment to hard work combined with love and laughter. We make it a point to know each of our clients personally and to offer them the level of encouragement that they will need to succeed. We celebrate each of your successes as a family. We have clients that have lost more than 100 pounds. Others couldn’t run 1/4 of a mile and now run marathons. We have two clients that have lost 40 pounds in 90 days in a very healthy way and are off all their medications.
EK: One only has to watch your members for a few minutes to observe the relationships that exist between them. How important is this to their and your success?
Bassamba: Thank you for mentioning that. It warms my heart to experience the unity that exists within our team. Relationships are our key to lasting success. The journey to an improved well-being isn’t always easy or simple. The mutual trust and respect we inspire within our membership group provides the encouragement and energy needed to help you achieve your personal best. At Greatness Fitness, we provide the success driven environment that you’ll need to succeed at a pace that you’re comfortable with.
EK: Your members pay only $29.99 per month but are not required to sign any long-term agreement. Explain.
Bassamba: After doing our in-depth market research to learn how to best serve the needs of our community, we came up with a highly competitive pricing system that met our clients’ needs. Our pricing structure offers our clients everything they will need to succeed without requiring any long-term commitment. We know that if we deliver the results our clients expect, they will remain members. We know that if we exceed your expectations, our and your successes will be assured.
EK: Greatness Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Tell our readers how you differ.
Bassamba: We are a resource for complete well-being. When your body is healthy, your mind performs better. We offer a range of experiences specifically designed to help you achieve your individual fitness and health goals. From gaining weight to losing weight, maintenance to toning up, building muscle mass, becoming faster, stronger, leaner, or simply being able to walk the stairs without losing your breath, Greatness Fitness offers you the comprehensive training program and experienced trainers necessary to help you achieve your personal goals.
EK: You seek to attract people from all walks of life, from teens to one woman in her 80s. Why?
Bassamba: The sky is no longer your limit at Greatness Fitness. Everyone deserves the opportunity to become the best that they can be. At Greatness Fitness, we offer the opportunity to succeed to everyone – from the very young to 80 and beyond.
EK: What many people don’t know is that you support a variety of initiatives to not only help lift the people of Mali out of poverty, but also to offer them the hope for brighter futures. Tell us more.
Bassamba: After undergrad and grad school and the beginning of life without basketball, I knew that I wanted to do something that I was passionate about – to become financially independent but to serve others as well. Launching Greatness Fitness empowers me to help clients get off medications, gain self-confidence, and enjoy life more. It is so rewarding to have spouses call, in tears, thanking us for helping to change their partners’ lives. We are also very proud of our non-profit organization Meant to Be Up to Me. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, it’s primary purpose is to help fight and eradicate poverty around the globe. We focus mainly on empowering the powerless, helping women in third world countries to enhance their self-esteem, creating a source of income for them by helping them to read and become fully independent. We build recreation centers for the elderly and young alike. I was born in an area of the world where an education, water, and clothing were a privilege. I am blessed with this opportunity to bless the lives of those who are less fortunate and often forgotten.
EK: How can people learn more about Greatness Fitness?
Bassamba: You can stop by anytime. We are located at 11139 Kingston Pike in Knoxville. Walk-ins are always welcome. Call us at 865-671-6073 during our normal business hours or visit our website at www.greatnessfitness.com.
EK: In closing, would you like to offer some words of encouragement to those who might be struggling in achieving fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle objectives?
Bassamba: First of all, thank you for this opportunity to introduce our Greatness Fitness family. I love and am so proud of our team. They truly believe in each of you and your vision for improving your personal well-being. To everyone out there that needs help, has hit a personal wall, or feels trapped, come see us. Rediscover your full potential at Greatness Fitness. With God in your heart, success in your mind, your eyes on your goal, and an amazing support team and system, nothing is impossible. We created Greatness Fitness just for you and to be difference makers in fitness and health industry, where so many people have given up on themselves. Our name says it all! Greatness Fitness… come get fit with us in mind, body, and soul and be all that you can be.
11139 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934