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ORLANDO _ John Amaechi plays basketball, but he really isn't a basketball player.
He's a Renaissance man.
Art galleries, historical museums, bookstores, psychology seminars, even Web sites and coffee shops are places he would rather be today than on the basketball court with the Orlando Magic.
Writing poetry is more fun to him than watching the NBA. The games bore him. Talking French with teammate Tariq Abdul-Wahad is more to his liking than talking trash with Alonzo Mourning.
Even winning a championship never would compare to the feeling he had when he was asked to give the commencement address at a high school graduation five years ago.
``Basketball does not define me,'' he said. ``It's my occupation for now, but it's not my definition.''
There is little passion in his play but wonderful love of his life. Raised in Manchester, England, he is the only player from Great Britain in the NBA. Yet he also is arguably the league's most intellectually advanced player.
Amaechi, 29, officially is the Magic's backup center, but he also is the team's computer expert, ready to advise his teammates on designing their own Web sites and software, willing to advise his coaches on raising their children, able to counsel anyone on expanding their horizons.
``Please, don't make me out to be too big of a geek,'' Amaechi said during a recent interview. …