Intro: Gabe Fumudoh

If you haven't ever heard of Gabe Fumudoh, you aren't alone. The native of Nigeria has been hiding at Brighton High (Mass.) for the past couple of years, but he won't be able to maintain a low-profile for much longer.

Gabe Fumudoh hasn't seen his father since he left Nigeria four years ago. He hasn't seen his mother or brother in London since he arrived in the United States in 2002.

The 6-foot-7, 220-pound Brighton High (Mass.) junior came from Nigeria for an opportunity – and the soccer player turned basketball standout is taking advantage.

The athletic Fumudoh, who never played organized basketball before arriving in the U.S., is someone who will soon appear on the national radar.

``He's a sleeper," said former Wright State head man Paul Biancardi, who coached Fumudoh earlier this month at the New England Elite 75 Showcase. "He's an athletic four-man who can score from 15 feet and in. He played well within the concept of the team and was a terrific teammate all day. He is very coachable and has a lot of tools."

Fumudoh admits that he wasn't very good when he first got to Massachusetts, but that he worked on his game after falling in love with the sport of basketball.

It's paid off since he put up a double-double as a sophomore. He said that Florida State is the school showing the most interest, but he's also received some correspondence from Temple and Washington.

As Biancardi noted, Fumudoh can knock down mid-range shots, finish in transition and also handle the ball fairly well for someone his size. He's also someone who gets after it defensively – both on the glass and trying to limit his opponents touches.

The plan is for the 17-year-old Fumudoh to spend one more season at Brighton and then re-do his junior year at a prep school.

``My schoolwork has gotten a lot better, but I still need to work on my English," he said.

Even more difficult than picking up a new language is having to deal with not seeing his family for so long.

``It's really hard," Fumudoh said. "But I try not to think about it. I'm the baby of the house."

The youngest of eight.

``I came here to get an education and have a chance to play basketball," he said. "But it was really the education."

His learning curve hasn't just improved in the classroom. It's climbing on the court as well.

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