Ogbonda emerges at Future All-American Camp

Class of 2015 prospect Sylvester Ogbonda isn't yet a household name, but that could change over the next year if he continues to play the way he did this past week at the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp.

Coming into the Hoop Group Future All-American Camp Sylvester Ogbonda was a relative unknown. In the country for less than a year, Ogbonda was virtually on no one's radar. Now however that should change.

At 6-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Ogbonda is a young post player who really runs the floor, has good hands, a nice touch, and a decent understanding of the game. He put those skills on display at the Future All-American Camp.

"The camp was great," said Ogbonda. "I met different people, learned new styles of play, and I got to play against other big players as well. I think this gave me a lot of exposure to different ways of playing the game."

A native of Nigeria, Ogbonda took a unique path to getting to the country and playing the game of basketball.

"I started playing basketball when I was 14 in Nigeria," said Ogbonda. "I would just be dribbling a (soccer) ball and all that. I met a guy who introduced me to a coach in Nigeria. I started working out with him, and we worked a lot on footwork, not just bouncing the ball."

He continued, "When I started getting into games I did a whole lot of crazy things on the court. I was traveling, double dribbling, turnovers, and stuff like that. Then I got used to it more."

After continuing to work on his skills, Ogbonda showed what he could do and made his way to the United States.

"I went to a camp in Nigeria, and myself and a couple of other guys made it to the USA," said Ogbonda. "I got here on October 3, so I have been here about 10 months now."

While he is still new to the game, Ogbonda says he is doing everything he can to familiarize himself with the game of basketball.

"When I was Nigeria I wasn't really a basketball person, but when I came here I started watching basketball whenever I could," said Ogbonda. "Men's basketball, women's basketball, high school, college, just anything that is basketball I was watching."

For years Nigeria has been producing college basketball players. While Ogbonda knows of some of them, he also says he hasn't really asked any other native Nigerians of their experience in the college game.

"I haven't really talked to any other Nigerian players, but I have heard of a lot of guys who have made it, but I know only two," said Ogbonda. "One is Moses (Ayegba) at Georgetown and then (God's Gift) Achiuwa at St. John's. God's Gift also worked out with the same coach I did in Nigeria."

At this point Ogbonda's recruitment isn't just in the infancy stages, however in his time in America a few teams have caught his eye as schools he likes to watch.

"I just watch all basketball, but I like Syracuse basketball and Kentucky," he said. "Those are the two that I really go with."

For now the focus for Ogbonda will be on getting better and continuing to make big strides, but he already proved that the potential is through the roof for him, and that he is willing to work to get better.


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