Andy Ogide: "The Olympic Games was probably one of the most special moments of my life"
Andy Ogide closed the 2019/20 season, which was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak, in San Severo in the italian second division. After losing two games, San Severo had four win a row and a record of 5-2. Ogide leaded the team with 18.7ppg and 8.3rpg. "I 100% believe we would have made the playoffs if the season continued. I know every team can make a claim like that. But, we were playing the best basketball out of anyone in the league at that time. We also had a great home court advantage that really helped us, and we did not lose at home down the stretch", he said to PianetaBasket.com.
Ogide started the season in Piacenza. "Last season was wild for me. I was injured in the first game of the season, but was able to recover and come back and play well. It was a strange situation having 3 Americans in A2. All of us played well when healthy. But, having missed so much of the early season, I did not want to miss anymore games. I thank the President of Piacenza for allowing me to leave for a better situation to play consistently. In San Severo I was very comfortable and felt I was the missing piece the team needed to leave the relegation zone", he adds.
In 2016, he played the Olympics Game with Nigeria NT that won the AfroBasket 2015. In their group, Nigeria had to face against strong teams as Brasil, Argentina, Spain, Lithuania and Croatia. "The Olympic Games was probably one of the most special moments of my life. To be able to play and live with some of the best athletes in the world was a dream come true. Our group was very tough, but we were able to be competitive and play every game close to the very end. As well as beating the group winner. But, really the non-basketball moments are what I will never forget. The opening ceremony, spending free time with the team, seeing and meeting all the star athletes, the Olympic village, everyone stopping to watch Usain Bolt run. Just incredible moments".
In Febraury 2019, NBA and FIBA Basketball announced the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The season has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nigeria will have a team, the Rivers Hoopers. Andy shared some thoughts about african basketball players and what the birth of this league means. "Yeah, I think the BAL will have a huge impact on worldwide basketball. There is so much potential in Africa. If you look at the NBA and NCAA there are a lot of young African talent. I hope the league can help encourage the younger generation to take the game to another level".
Recently, Nigeria announced that Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie will play for the NT. "The National team has only gotten better over the last few years. It’s no surprise that players like that want to join the brotherhood. With respect to Spencer, I’ve heard his father is Nigerian so I’m sure he will play with the same pride all the other before him played with."
A last question, talking about the present and the future. "I’m good! Ready to get out of the house, but healthy and just trying to take the time to better myself. So much is unknown right now. When and how the next season will be able to be played. I try to worry about thing I can control. So, I will continue to keep myself in shape and ready whenever things get back to normal. I feel like I’m still getting better every season so I can’t wait to get back!".
Andy Ogide, 32, became professionist in 2011 when he signed a deal with spanish team Breogan, moving then in San Sebastián during the same season. After he signed France with Poitiers. After experiences in Israel and Japan, he arrived in Italy in 2017/18. Here he has played with Roseto, Piacenza and San Severo.