‘I Want To Play At 2016 Olympic Games’

| February 25, 2013 | 0 Comments

‘I Want To Play At 2016 Olympic Games’  print

Published on February 25, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

For an average Nigerian, being known in the American college game is enough fame and achievement to relish throughout one’s entire life. But for Tolu Omotola, a power forward  at the Liberty University in Virginia, USA there is no limit to humans dreams.

Born in London, England, to Nigerian parents, before moving to the United States at the age of seven, Omotola is on a terrific career at Liberty University in Virginia.

The senior center is averaging 16 points and 9.1 rebounds in the Lady Flames’ current seven-game winning streak as the Big South Conference leaders have a shot at the post-season.

Liberty have won 20 of their 26 games overall and 12 of 14 in the Big South Conference.

Omotola first enrolled at Texas Christian University, but then transferred to Liberty after her freshman year.

Liberty is also a Christian school.

“You get both worlds (at Liberty),” she said. “You get a world growing spiritually, and you get a world growing athletically with coaches and teachers that care about you and pray for you every day.

“It was a definitely a big decision for me and most of it was because of the Christian atmosphere. Just having a family away from home and being open with Christianity.

“At my other school, Texas Christian, I felt like I wasn’t able to be as open there or grow as much.”

Omotola’s name is not known in the American college game alone, but it’s also one that’s on the international basketball radar as she has already been welcomed into Nigeria’s national team programme.

“I was able to play with them (Nigerian female national team, D’Tigress) last summer a little bit and a couple of summers before that, Omotola told FIBA.com.

Though she is yet to feature for Nigeria in national team tournaments, it’s almost certain to happen in the future as Omotola had already trained with D’Tigress at a camp in Florida and also played in exhibition games.

Her experience with Nigerian basketball is something she treasures.

“It was indescribable,” she said. “It was amazing. I loved the girls. They are either married or graduated from college. They had so much experience, I learned so much from them.”

It was during her high school days that Nigeria first invited Omotola to join their programme.

“I was nervous because it was a new thing for me,” she said.

“I was only 17 and those girls were teaching me and being a mentor to me. I was really nervous.

“But now, it’s like I feel like I’m more a part of the team, still learning but talking more.”

The Nigerian women played at the 2004 Olympics and the men competed at the London Games last year.

“That’s one of my dreams,” she said, “to be able to represent my country and to go far. And that’s what their dream is, too. And that’s what we’re striving for.”

Because of her European passport, Omotolu is an attractive player for many clubs.

A psychology major, Omotola also has an idea of what she’d like to do off the court.

“I have thought about sports psychology and working with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and different sports organizations around the country,” she said.

“Just to be able to travel and counsel athletes around the world, that´s one of my other dreams as a psychologist.”

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