November 14, 2005 - by
Shooting Free Throw Shots With Uche Echefu

Nov. 14, 2005

Uche Echefu is entering his first season at Florida State as one of the top freshman in college basketball. He will play a significant role in the Seminoles’ fortunes this season took time to sit down with before Florida State’s season opener against Jacksonville on Nov. 19.

You Are From Nigeria. How Did You End Up In America?
I grew up playing soccer. I started growing tall and people told me to playing basketball. I tried the sport for a couple of months and decided to go back to soccer. I began to play basketball again when my school had a competition – I was picked for one of the teams and I picked the sport up quickly. My high school coach saw what I could do and brought me to the state of Maryland in the United States. From there, I received requests to play at a number of schools and ended up here.

Do You Still Enjoy Playing Soccer More Than Basketball?
I like basketball more but at the same time I love soccer because I grew up playing the sport.

Do You Think You Will Ever Go Back To Playing Soccer And Do You Ever Play It With Your Friends?
I am completely focused on basketball at this time.

How Did You Get Started Playing Basketball?
I began playing at my high school. My high school coach was one of the best high school coaches in my country. He spent extra time with me working out. The team worked out once a day, and I worked out twice a day.

What Is The Most Different Thing In The United States As Compared To Nigeria?
The biggest differences I have found are the food, the culture and the people. From the basketball point of view, the biggest difference is that her in America we have great facilities and in Nigeria the gyms are not as well maintained.

Back At Home, Do You Play On Indoor Or Outdoor Courts?

We have indoor courts but we mainly play outside on outdoor courts.

What Is Your Favorite Food Back In Nigeria?

I enjoy rice and chicken the most.

You Helped Your High School Team To A 23-3 Record Your Senior Season. What Are Your Goals Here At Florida State?

I think we can enjoy a strong season this year. Our goal as a team is to work hard throughout the year. Another one of our goals is to make a big improvement and show the rest of the nation that we are an up and coming program.

What Are Your Personal Goals?
I want to play with great energy and intensity each time I am on the court. I hate losing and am going to work hard to help this team win as many games as we possibly can.

You Selected Florida State Over North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky. How Did You Decide On Florida State?

I think the biggest factor of why I chose to come to Florida State was because of the coaching staff. We’ve had a relationship for over three years and they had been following my career and the progress I was making since my arrival three years ago. I think that was the biggest factor. I like having a good relationship with my coaches.

What Has Been Your Greatest Basketball Memory So Far?
I played for Nigeria in the Junior World Championships this past summer and that was a tremendous honor. That is the greatest thing I have accomplished in basketball. I am looking forward to my greatest moment coming at Florida State during my career in college.

Who Is You Biggest Inspiration?
In terms of basketball, Kevin Garnett is my greatest inspiration. I like the way he plays. My overall greatest inspiration is my dad.

Do You Have Any Pre-Game Rituals?
Before a game I always pray and spend time by myself focusing on what I want to accomplish in the game at hand.

What Are You Studying Here At Florida State And What Do You Want To Do In The Future?
I am studying Business Management and in the future I want to own my own business.

Do You Want To Have A Future In Basketball?
One of my main goals is to play professional basketball after earning my degree from Florida State. After that I want to start my own business.

Do You Have A Favorite NBA Team?
My favorite NBA team is the Detroit Pistons. They play as a team and have the best coaching staff in the game. I love the style they play and the way they play with energy every game.

Tell The Seminole Fans One Thing They Might Not Now About You
I talk a lot and like to goof around with my teammates.

By Jen Marcus
Florida State Sports Information
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