Onochie Ochie is a 23 year old 198cm forward from Nigeria that is a rookie and playing in Germany for BIS Baskets Speyer (Germany-ProB). He played at SE Louisiana (NCAA) from 2011-2015 playing a total of 108 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games: 8.5ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 58.9%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 63.3%. He spoke to German Hoops before the game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors.
Onochie for talking to German Hoops. You have a very unique name. Have you had any memorable experiences with your name over the years or do people always pronounce it right?
I have really been blessed to have such a unique name. My name in itself has opened the door to great opportunities. I have had an endless amount of memorable experiences with my name. People do a pretty good job of pronouncing my name for the most part.
A tough 82-66 loss against Nordlingen. After a big win and first of the season against Weissenhorn now another loss. How is the mood of the team? Is the team staying as upbeat as best possible?
The morale of the team is great. We are just working hard and getting better every day.
Nordlingen scored 34 points in the first quarter. Was the game already somewhat decided after 10 minutes despite Speyer winning the second and third quarters?
No matter the score, we always believe we can win. The game isn’t decided until time runs out.
The tank Kwame Duku led all scorers with 21 points on 10/13 shooting. Was there no way to contain him better?
Duku is a handful down on the low block. He capitalized on the opportunities he was given, so you have to give him credit.
You play against talented players each weekend. How much of a challenge was it battling against American Jordan Talbert?
Talbert may be the best rebounder in the league. Talbert has a great all around game, he can do it all. I have nothing but respect for him. He was tough matchup.
How well has German Alexander Kuhn developed? Do you see him taking the next step and taking on even a bigger scoring role this season?
Kuhn plays extremely hard, he is a great rebounder for his size. I believe the best part of his game is his basketball IQ, he seems to always make the right decisions on the court. Kuhn has already taken a bigger scoring role, especially over the last 2 games.
You are playing your rookie season in Germany and currently are averaging 7,6ppg and 5,0rpg in 17,3 minutes per game. How happy have you been with your play thus far?
I am my biggest critic. I am rarely satisfied with my play, I always feel I can do better.
You have unending athleticism, but what is a hidden talent in your game that you feel doesn´t get noticed right away on the court?
I think I am a pesky defender. I take pride in playing good defense.
Do you feel like you have the game to become a consistent scorer in double figures?
Yes, I do
You played at SE Louisiana (NCAA from 2001-2015. Your first coach from 2010-2014 was Jim Yarbrough. How did he groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
I am forever grateful of Coach Yarbrough, he gave the opportunity to play college basketball. Coach Yarbrough was a big advocate of proper basketball fundamentals. I credit Coach Y and his staff for drastically improving my fundamental basketball skills, which translates well to the pro game.
You seemed to always have your best games against Mcneese State. Are these games that you will forever remember?
Mcneese State and SELU are major rivals. It’s always exciting to play against your rival, so I guess it can bring out the best in you. However, I have nothing but mad respect for Coach Simmons and the Mcneese State program.
What was your fondest memory last season on the court with point guard Cedric Jenkins who came into his own as a senior?
Cedric Jenkins is a great basketball player, but his best trait is his leadership. I enjoyed with him and the rest of my teammates at SELU. My fondest memory playing with Cedric was the New Orleans game when he scored 39 points. It was special to watch nad we passed him the ball and got out of the way.
Who was the toughest player that you played against in the NCAA that is in the NBA now?
I have had the opportunity to play against several players currently in the NBA, and they have all been tough opponents. However I had the most fun playing against Jordan Mickey.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
Lebron James is considered by most to be the best basketball player in the world, and I would have to agree with that. Lebron James will go down as one of the best players to ever play the game, that being said I do not think it’s inapt to mention Lebron James and Michael Jordan in the same breath. However I do believe MJ is the greatest ever.
Thanksgiving is around the corner. How was your first Thanksgiving in Germany last season and what is your favorite childhood memory of Thanksgiving?
I spent Thanksgiving last year in Louisiana with the Whann family. I have had the pleasure of celebrating Thanksgiving with them for the past five years. I honestly cannot pinpoint only one childhood Thanksgiving memory. Every time my family comes together for the holidays it is special.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I watched was “Hancock”
Thanks Onochie for the chat.