Osasumwen Osaghae (206-F-98, college: FIU) is a 23 year old 206cm forward from Miami playing his second professional season and first in Germany with the MLP Academics. Last season as a rookie he played with Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 17 games averaging 13.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.2spg, Blocks-2 (2.0bpg), FGP: 62.1%, FT: 70.8%. He began his basketball career at Southridge High School and then played at Florida International University (NCAA) from 2016-2020 playing 91 8.3ppg, 8.5rpg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 59.9%, FT: 60.4% and 12.7ppg, 7.8rpg, 3.6bpg, FGP: 69.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 68.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Thanks Osasu for talking to germanhoops.com. How blessed are you to be able to play the game you love considering that basketball life wasn’t that easy in high school and the first few years
I feel extremely blessed. I’m grateful for where I am especially considering my path to here was never straightforward
Your playing your second professional season and first in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg and have been out since the start of November. How tough is it at the moment trying to get back from an injury? You have had experience with injuries having had a bone contusion?
it’s very tough but I’m trying to deal with us as best as I can and focus on what’s important. Controlling what I can control. I’ve had injuries in the past but nothing maybe as serious as this one
Your averaging 5,0ppg and 5,0rpg until your injury hit. How big of an adjustment has it been coming from the Finish league to the easyCredit BBL one of the top leagues in Europe?
I think there’s definitely a difference, unfortunately I haven’t played many games so I’ve yet to catch a rhythm yet but having watched a lot of games I’m learning and think adjusting shouldn’t be a problem
The team had a great start winning 4 of 5 games and since have a very long losing streak. Did teams figure you out better? You did lose a few close games as well.
I think teams definitely started paying more attention to us but as well as that maybe we could also have done some things better, I think we must just keep working and keep our head down
What kind of an experience has it been playing for head coach Frenki Ignatovic? He is one of those guys that paid his dues in the second division and helped lead the team into the first division. How have you profited from his coaching philosophy?
it’s great working with him. First and foremost as a man he’s a great guy nice and always there to help with anything. I’m learning a lot and I think he’s a great coach who is very passionate and works hard to get here and deserves it 100%
What kind of an experience has it been playing with inside/out player Brekkot Chapman? How do you remember the battles with him in practice before you got injured?
It’s great playing with him. The game comes easy to him and he’s a great player for us. Very competitive before I got injured but great teamate always.
You’re a 206cm forward that can score, rebound and block shots. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?
The player I’ve maybe gotten the most comparisons to in college was maybe Clint Capela so maybe I will say him but personally I don’t know if I’m similar to anyone very much
What other strengths does your game incorporate besides scoring rebounding and shot blocking?
I think I’m very instinctual and just on court awareness. And I’m constantly working to improve other areas of my game.
You’re an incredible shot blocker averaging 3 a game in your last 2 seasons in the NCAA. What is your secret to shot blocking? Do you watch a lot of film on players?
I do watch a good amount of film. I think film and instincts have been my greatest help but maybe be not necessarily film on others specifically. More so just basketball in general or watching other great shot blockers
On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to grow as a player?
Not to be cliche but everything. Currently I’m focused on just getting back healthy though
You played your rookie season with Karhu Kauhajoki (Finland-Korisliiga) averaging 13.9ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.2spg, Blocks-2 (2.0bpg), FGP: 62.1%, FT: 70.8%. What do you remember being your wake upcall to being overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
I think honestly the first day when I realized how cold it was compared to Miami. It took some time to get settled.
You lost a tough 5 games finals series to Vilpas. How important do you feel was experiencing this as a rookie for your competitive nature?
I think everything happens for a reason and I learned a lot during that series on the court and off of it.
How important was teammate Anthony Hilliard for you as a rookie? Was he like a mentor for you?
He was great and would always offer advice to me and other young guys. Definitely was someone we looked to in terms of professionalism.
You played at Florida International university. How tough were the first two years where you didn’t play much. What did you learn about yourself in that time and what discipline means?
I learned how to be patient and also developed an edge because I wasn’t content with my role. It was tough but made me who I am today.
In your last two years in the NCAA you averaged 8.3ppg, 8.5rpg, 3.1bpg, FGP: 59.9%, FT: 60.4% and 12.7ppg, 7.8rpg, 3.6bpg, FGP: 69.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 68.8%. How do you feel did your game grow most in your last two years?
I think my last two years my confidence was The biggest factor and helped me play freely and express myself on the court.
You reached the NCAA tournament in 2019 beating Texas State and losing to Green Bay. What was your fondest memory being part of the big dance?
The memories and challenges we had to overcome to get there
You had 8 blocks as a senior against Ave Maria and Stetson. Have you ever thought about recording a triple double with points, rebounds and blocks?
Yes honestly but it’s not my main focus. It would be great though
How did head coach Jeremy Ballard groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He was great with me. Was like a mentor figure. Broke down the game to me better than I ever had it done before so I’m forever grateful to him
Who won a one on one in practice you or Dimon Carrigan?
Honestly we’ve never even played 1 on 1 but if we did he knows the answer.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Hard to say but maybe Reggie Perry or Chris Silva
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Personally I never watched Jordan so I have to say Lebron
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
Unfortunately I haven’t but I’ve heard that it was bad.
Thanks Osasu for the chat.