Okulaja is a star overseas

Rick Fox is the last Tar Heel grad in the playoffs, now that Ademola Okulaja's squad bowed out of the ACB playoffs in Spain.

Okulaja's 20 points and eight rebounds were not enough, as FC Barcelona fell in Game 4 of the semifinals, losing the series 3-1 to Tau Ceramica.

The German native was on the cover of the most recent issue of Spain's Gigantes del Basket ("Giants of Basketball"), previewing the big semifinals series. The headline of the article is ¡Es La Guerra! ("It Is The War!").

Okulaja is featured in a profile on his team web site (link). For your convenience, we have translated the article from Spanish to English ...

***** Men of the Playoffs: Ademola Okulaja

We bring you another profile taken from the Official Program of the ACB 2002 Playoffs. After Perasovic, Bernard Hopkins, A.J. Bramlett, and Real Madrid's Herreros, here is the profile of a lover of computer science and a spectacular player, Ademola Okulaja ...


A caricature of Okulaja from the league web site.
Four seasons on the campus of North Carolina gave him a great deal in the fields of academics and sports. Also, to make friendships. And Ademola made some good ones. When he played for the Tar Heels, the greatest factory in the world for producing basketball stars, Ademola was frequently in the company of Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison. So much so that they became known as 'The Three Musketeers.' But, 'D'Artagnan' Okulaja did not have the same fortune as his companions. Left by the others of the 'one for all and all for one' group, Okulaja returned to Germany, the country where his parents settled when he was only 3 years old.

After a season with ALBA Berlin (Germany) and then a fleeting tour with Casademont Girona (Spain-ACB), Aíto García Reneses, the coach of F.C. Barcelona, chose Okulaja as the substitute for star player Pau Gasol, who had left the team for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. A fanatic of computer science and an expert navigator of the Internet, Okulaja applies the high German technology to his game. As if he had it all programmed -- to knock down a three, gather in rebounds or block a shot. Then, when the game is over, he looks at his statistics, verifies that all has gone as expected and then relaxes himself by reading Alex Haley (Malcom X), Richard Wright (Black Boy) and Hans Jürgen Massaquoi and preparing his official web page. Okulaja.net never defrauds.


Name: Ademola Okulaja.
Date of birth: July 10, 1975.
Place: Lagos, Nigeria
Sign of the Zodiac: Cancer
Height/weight/shoe size: 6-9 / 238 lbs. / 14.
Civil state: Very serious girlfriend.
Children: None.
Studies: University of North Carolina, a great honor.
Professional debut: December 1993 with ALBA Berlin. When I was very young.
First title: The Korac Cup in 1995 with ALBA Berlin.
Favorite team: Mine [F.C. Barcelona].
Favorite worldwide coach: Dean Smith.
Coach has not played for and desires to: Phil Jackson, of the Zen philosophy.
Favorite worldwide player: No particular one. Very original answer.
Favorite European player: None. More original still.
Favorite Spanish player: None. Once again original.
A recent movie: 'Monster's Ball'.
Favorite old movie: 'Good Fellas' and 'The Godfather'.
Book currently reading: The Autobiography of Sidney Poitier.
Hobby: To collect movies. They decorate the bookcases.
Another sport: Kickboxing.
Music: R&B and Hip Hop.
Favorite article of clothing: Something comfortable.
Favorite food and beverage: The food of my mother, Tea.
Perfume: None.
A vice: To doubt and to question things.
Favorite politician: An honest one.
Most precious possession: My family and my friends.
A dream: Good health for my family.
Name a weakness: To sleep.
Defect: I am addicted to basketball.
Virtue: To enjoy basketball.
He admires: Loyal and honest people.
He detests: Disloyal and dishonest people.

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