April 28, 2009 - by
Solomon Alabi: An Imposing Seminole Presence

April 28, 2009

Solomon Alabi may have had
his highly anticipated freshman
season cut short last year due
to injury, but he isn’t bitter.

fact the Seminoles 7’2″. center
is grateful to just be at the
collegiate level playing basketball.

Transitioning from a young soccer
player in Nigeria, to a starting
center on the Montverde Academy
basketball team in Orlando took
as much faith as it did skill.

his injuries behind him Alabi
is focused on making a positive
impact for the Seminoles this season. Before he takes
the court this season he is opening up about soccer, his
family and his plans for the future.

What made you switch from soccer to basketball?
The reason I switched from soccer to basketball was
after I started playing basketball I figured I.d have a
greater advantage. With soccer I may be a little too tall,
but with basketball my height works to my advantage.

Do you miss playing soccer?
Yes, I miss playing soccer very much. I wish I had
time to get a chance to play
soccer. Basketball has
taken over everything

Is there anything you learned
in soccer that you think applies
to basketball?

Playing soccer helped me to
increase my speed in basketball
and my endurance too.

Do you think you relate to Uche differently
than the other players on the

Yes, since we are from the same country
sometimes we speak different languages.
Since we miss home sometimes we talk
about home together too. But I.m close to
everyone on the team.

How often do you get to see your family?

It’s been awhile, the last time I saw them was
when I played for the Nigeria national team, like
two years ago.

Do you want them to come to the United States to see you

Yes I look forward to that.

Do you have any family members here in the United

I have a host family in Orlando. I get to see them a lot.
When I have breaks I go home and see them.

What’s the biggest thing you learned from your injury
last season?

I would say I got to watch how intense the game is. It
made me work extra hard.

What is your biggest personal goal for this season?
My biggest goal is to make it to the NCAA Tournament,
hopefully make it to the Final Four and also to win the
ACC Championship.

Do you see yourself staying in the United States in the
future or returning to Nigeria?

I want to go back home after I’m done playing

What advice would you give your younger fans that want
to pursue their dreams of playing basketball?

Basketball has helped me in life. Playing basketball
encouraged me to go to school and kept me away
from a lot of bad things. My advice to younger fans is
whatever they want in terms of school, or sports they
should take it seriously because it.s really going to help

By Britney Wright
Sports Information Student Intern

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