CAIRNS – At a booming 208cm and 113kg, Nigeria’s towering centre Prince ORIZU is certainly a presence on the basketball court and will need to be when he matches up against opposing centres at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
ORIZU is known for hauling in big rebounds and swatting away rejections and will need that form when he faces imposing figures such as Angus BRANDT (AUS), Conor MORGAN (CAN), and Alex PLEDGER (NZL). However, that does not seem to faze him.
“I’ve watched them on TV, they’re pretty good,” ORIZU said of this opponents after he had shown off his own repertoire, including an impressive reverse slam dunk, at training in Cairns on Monday (2 April).
“We can match up with their game, we have good players,” the 23-year-old said. “I just really focus on our team, what we have and what we can do to win.”
ORIZU plays for Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP). He said that while he has also played in Georgia, USA, his GC018 selection for Nigeria was a great honour.
“The head coach (Alexander NWORA) said, ‘OK I’ll give you a spot on the team because I think you’re ready to play at that level’, so I was happy about it. I’m grateful that I’m here.”
ORIZU is confident his team can challenge for medals.
“Every little thing counts in the game, like free throws, loose balls and rebounds. That’s just what we’ve got to do (to win games). We have to stay together.”
Nigeria plays New Zealand’s Tall Blacks in their first Pool A game at Cairns Convention Centre at 20:00 on Friday 6 April.