One-On-One With Basketball's Willy Kouassi

Freshman center Willy Kouassi does a question and answer session with Inside the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Willy Kouassi is a 6-10 freshman center from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, who played high school basketball on a national championship team at Central Park Christian Academy in Birmingham last season.

Kouassi is expected to see significant playing time this year for Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn Tigers. In Saturday night's 83-47 exhibition game win vs. Victory University, Kouassi played 21 minutes and scored eight points and pulled in eight rebounds. He was 4-4 from the field, 0-1 at the foul line and he blocked one shot and made one steal.

The freshman did this question and answer session with Inside the Auburn Tigers

What's your favorite thing about playing basketball? What makes it fun for you?

Kouassi: "I feel that in basketball I can dominate. What I like best is defense. I like to rebound and block shots. That is fun to me."

If you had not started playing basketball, what sport do you think you would have played instead?

Kouassi: "It would be soccer. I used to play soccer back home so that would be the sport."

With your size and reach you would probably be a good goal keeper. Was that your position?

Kouassi: (smiling) "No, in soccer I like offense. I would be a striker."

I bet you know your soccer pretty well. In your opinion, what is the best team in the world?

Kouassi: "There are a lot of good teams in the world. Are you talking about a club team or international team?

What is the best soccer club team?

Any reason for that?

Kouassi: "They have got Didier Drogba and Drogba is from Ivory Coast, and he is one of the best players in the world so I like Chelsea."

On the subject of your home country, what is your favorite food in the Ivory Coast that you can't find in the United States?

Kouassi: "There are some kind sauces, legume sauces, that you can't get here. I love rice with those kind of sauces, but we don't have them here. I really miss it."

So what's your favorite food to eat?

Kouassi: "Chinese rice! That's what I love the best. It's great food!

What is the thing in the United States that you really enjoy here that you don't have back home?

Kouassi: "The thing I really enjoy here is basketball because it is much more advanced that back home in Africa. "

What's the funniest thing, or craziest thing, has ever happened to you playing basketball?

Kouassi: "I'm trying to remember...I can't think of anything."

Who's your favorite singer or musician and why?

Kouassi: "My favorite singer? I think I could say it is Gucci Mane. I kind of like him. He's pretty good.

Who is your favorite basketball player you really enjoy watching?

Kouassi: "Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) is my favorite.

Why about his game do you like?

Kouassi: "He shoots well, he's powerful and he's very strong. Those are the reasons I?like him. He's good. No doubt about it."

Not counting yourself, who is the most interesting personality on the Auburn basketball team?

Kouassi: "It's Josh Langford. He's really funny. He always jokes and makes us laugh."

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