Abodunrin Gabriel Olaseni, currently at University of Iowa in his sophomore year, has targeted an appearance for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics.
The 6’10″, 230lb Londoner has never made a national team before, being cut from a preliminary England U18 squad in 2009. Being home for the summer, and seeing the Olympics take place 20 minutes from where he grew up has provided the inspiration he has needed to set lofty goals.
Talking to Hawkeyesports.com, he said (we guess by 2014, he means 2013 or 2015!):
“I want to be there in 2016. I want to be there in 2014 for the European Championships as well. That would be great to represent my country.
“It was a great experience to see professional athletes train hard for four years for that one moment. It was interesting to see what it takes to be a professional and the approach they have to their game.
“Obviously with sports like basketball, if you mess up you sprint back and get in front of your defender. You lose a game; you still have more to play. In the Olympics, one false start, and four years of training is gone. You have to take every day as if it is your last. It made me appreciate how good you have to be to be great.
“Knowing where I am from, knowing how far I have come… and knowing how far I still have to go to reach my goals… it put everything in perspective.”
Iowa’s head coach Fran McCaffery added that he knows that Gabe is on Great Britain’s radar for the future.
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