I have the privilege of interviewing Ken Odiase, who played his last two seasons at Chicago State. He started his college basketball career at a community college, but showed off his skill enough to move up to getting minutes on a D1 team. Unfortunately for him, he had to sit out for over a year, but his senior year he showed how good he is and what he could become. Odiase improved his stats in about every category and was a key contributor in many games. Here is what he had to say about his time at Chicago State and what’s next for him.
1) What was the hardest part about having to sit out a year?
Odiase: The hardest part was being disciplined and staying while your team is playing their season. You have so much free time so I had to make sure I was focused.
2) You had a big jump in about every statistical category this year. What was the biggest difference between your junior and senior seasons?
Odiase: My junior year I missed the first half of the season due to NCAA rule requirements that I didn’t meet until the end of the semester. When I was finally able to play, the season was half way over and I never found a rhythm or opportunity to really showcase myself. Senior year, I got that chance in a way but my role was limited. I’m hoping I can showcase what I can fully do at the next level.
3) How did your time at Chicago State shape you into the player you are today?
Odiase: Even though I never got close to Coach Irvin (who got hired a week before school started), he did bring a lot out of me. He pushed me and made me mentally tough. Everything I went through this past season and my time with the team is motivating me now and through the rest of my playing career.
4) What is your favorite memory from Chicago State?
Odiase: Being in the gym daily and hanging with two of my best friends, Robert Shaw and Jordan Reed. Junior and senior year, Rob and I were pushing each other in the preseason, during the season, and after.
5) For those who don’t know, what are your next steps?
Odiase: I plan to play overseas and build a good career for the next couple of years. I also want to try to make the league before it’s all said and done. With everything I’ve been through, I wasn’t supposed to be here so I think that’s a valid goal.