Eternally grateful to his parents

Eternally grateful to his parents

Before his morning training session, retin obasohan often takes a german lesson. He has installed a language course app on his smartphone, which he uses to study diligently. Earlier, the belgian with nigerian roots had been practicing farewell phrases: "see you tomorrow! See you later!", says the 26-year-old with a laugh. But he still can’t get complete sentences out of his mouth in german.

The newcomer to the bundesliga basketball team brose bamberg already lived in germany for a year. And not even far away from his current adopted home. In the 2017/18 season, the combo guard went basket hunting for the oettinger rockets in erfurt. He quickly became a crowd favorite there because of his athletic play and drive to the basket.

At baunach home game

Obasohan’s teammates at the time included daniel schmidt, andi obst and dino dizdarevic, who grew up in the brose junior program. Therefore bamberg is not an unknown city for him. "I used to come here with the boys. We also once watched a home game of the baunach team in proa. That’s when I saw louis olinde play for the first time", explains obasohan, for whom many of his current teammates were also no strangers. And he lists: "I met with nelson weidemann once in berlin. I played against bryce taylor and mo stuckey in the bundesliga. Michael carrera was on an opposing team when I was in college at alabama. Paris lee, coach roel moors and leo de rycke, of course, I know from antwerp. It’s a new team for me, but it has a lot of familiar faces."

The belgian faction was, of course, one reason for his move from the american G-league – last season obasohan went basket hunting for the phoenix suns’ farm team in arizona – to bamberg. But there is another. "Bamberg is a very prestigious club in europe. When he calls, you don’t hesitate for long, because it’s 99 percent the right choice. My relationship with coach roel moors, athletic director leo de rycke and co-coach thomas crab made it 100 percent very quickly.", says obasohan.

Coach moors is a great role model for the 26-year-old. Obasohan saw the new bamberg coach play in antwerp as a child. The former point guard was one of belgium’s best basketball players. "Roel moors has accomplished so much. He has won championships, was at the european championships, his jersey hangs under the roof in antwerp. He is definitely a person I admire in many ways", says obasohan. He is now a belgian national player himself and wants to play in the olympics with the team – at least that is his dream.

To college in alabama

Another career goal for the 26-year-old is the NBA. But the north american professional league is not the reason why the antwerp-born obasohan left home in 2012 to join a U.S. College team in alabama. "On the one hand, I wanted to play basketball at a high level, but on the other hand, I also wanted to graduate from high school. To get both under one hat was not possible in belgium", obasohan, who has a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in marketing under his belt after five years at alabama, explains.

But he didn’t make the jump to the NBA, he wasn’t drafted in the 2016 draft. But his NBA dream lives on. "Brad wanamaker also first made a name for himself in europe before going to the NBA. As the saying goes: "many roads lead to rome", says obasohan, who wants to emulate former bamberg point guard wanamaker. His motto is: "as an athlete, you have to set the highest goals for yourself."

Obasohan started playing basketball in antwerp at the age of seven. His parents moved to the belgian port city from nigeria shortly before he was born. His two older brothers, nosa and efe, were born in africa, while his younger brother, osahon, was born in belgium, as was retin obasohan. "My parents emigrated because they wanted to give my brothers and I a better future. That also happened. We’ve accomplished things we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I will be forever grateful to them for that", obasohan says. He has a lot of contact with his parents and siblings. Now that he’s back in europe and the time difference is gone, almost daily. As soon as the game schedule allows, the 26-year-old plans to leave for a home visit to antwerp.

Much less contact with relatives in nigeria, where uncles, aunts and cousins live. "I haven’t been there for a long time, because of the long distance you can’t fly there for a few days. But I really want to make up for it in the next few years", obasohan, who is proud of his african roots, says: "I was born and raised in belgium, but my family taught me the values of their homeland. My character, moral values and lifestyle are based on nigerian culture. "

About the person

Born on 6. July 1993 in antwerp height/weight 1.85 meters/94 kilograms contract until 2020 jersey number 32 position point guard/shooting guard statistics 2018/19 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists averaged in 26.24 min.; 44.4% field goal percentage, 68.8% free throw percentage (NBA G-league)

Previous clubs university of alabama (college/USA, 2012 to 2016), sidigas avellino (2016/17), oettinger rockets (2017/18), northern arizona suns (2018/19)

Social media facebook: @oballsohard; twitter: @oballsohard; instagram: oballsohard

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