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Efe Abogidi | "It’s not everyday, a kid from the little town in Delta State, Nigeria gets to have a chance to play basketball for a school where great players played"

Efe Abogidi, a six foot ten center currently attending Washington State. Efe didn't have an ordinary route of playing high school basketball and then moving to a campus to continue at the collegiate level. Instead he grew up in Ughelli, a town in Delta State, Nigeria. Which has a population of around 250,000 people. He grew up competing in track and field, including sprinting, long jump and high jump. He got introduced to the game of basketball by a stranger, he decided to give it a try not realising the potential it would unlock.

Abogidi joined Hoops & Read, a program created by Olmide Oyedeji's foundation. In 2015 and 2016, he was named most valuable player of a camp run in Lagos. This helped his team earn a promotion into the Nigerian Premier League in 2016. In the next year, he later moved to Senegal to attend the NBA Academy Africa in its first year. He played against top competition throughout the year while having the opportunity to travel and play in international tournaments. While attending he went viral at 15 winning a dunk contest at the NBA Academy.

In June 2017, at the NBA Academy Games in Canberra, Australia, he suffered a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus while attempting a slam dunk. After coming back he started to gain a reputation for playing efficiently, being an elite athlete with an incredible vertical. It started to reach the heights of North America. Top colleges started scouting Efe to come play for their program’s. He committed to playing college basketball for Washington State over offers from the likes of Creighton and UT Arlington. Currently at Washington state he is averaging 8.1pts, 5.8rbs on 58% shooting from the field.

How were you introduced and started playing basketball?

I got Introduced to the game back home during a track meet between schools back home and I was probably 6ft 3. I looked really tall compared to my peers and got introduced to the game by a stranger but I didn’t listen. Because back home it was mainly soccer oriented and I was on a soccer team, so it was clearly bizarre. But I decided to try it and here we are now.

Being from Nigeria, how has your time been living in the US?

Living away from home has been quite interesting to me because I’m on a path of chasing my dreams. With the sport I play, I know for sure America is the place to play anyone. Who wouldn't want to do that and be the best? But overall I’ve really enjoyed my time here.

Currently playing basketball at Washington State, how has it been attending college with such a great history?

It’s not everyday, a kid from the little town in Delta State, Nigeria gets to have a chance to play basketball for a school where great players played at, such as Klay Thompson, Steve Puidokas and many more. But it feels like a great opportunity to someday be up there as also one of the greats.

You attended the NBA Academy, how was your time there and what did you take most from the experience?

To simply put it, The NBA Academy is probably the best academy in the world and being there gave me the chance to learn a lot of life lessons that I cherish. My experiences varied a lot, but the most important one of my time there was the fact that I had to learn how to be disciplined with rehabilitation.


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