LOUDONVILLE -- After completing one final workout in the ARC before heading home to Staten Island to pack for his flight to Paris, Siena senior forward O.D. Anosike spoke about the opportunity to play as one of 15 athletes selected to represent the United States of America in the World Championships as a member of the u22 Elite National Team.
"To watch the Olympics and see guys like Lebron and Carmello and those guys and the tremendous amount of courage and prestige that they wear that jersey with it's unbelievable," Anosike said. "So, when I get the chance to put that on, I'm going to think about my school. I'm going to think about my family. I'm going to think about my team and probably, most importantly, I'm going to think about my country."
The three-day event to be held this Saturday, Sunday and Monday will feature teams from Spain, Poland, Denmark, Serbia, Canada, Russia and France. The US team is coached by Linzy Davis, a renowned international and AAU coach from Georgia Elite, who has led the United States team to five world titles.
After recently finishing a frustrating 8-24 season, Anosike feels some consolation in knowing his efforts did not go unnoticed. The team will consist of many of the nation's top players in the under-22 age group. Former members of the team include NBA All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant as well as 26 other current NBA players. Many more USA Elite alumni are playing professionally in FIBA.
Heading into the weekend, Anosike now embarks on a new chapter in his basketball narrative. Still, it won't be his past Siena achievements or his future his professional career that he focuses on while in France.
"This weekend I'm going to live in the moment, Anosike said. " I'm going to think about the hard times I had these past four years and I'm going try to rectify it."
Anosike's achieved national acclaim for his success on and off the court at Siena.
He is arguably the nation's top rebounder, currently on pace to become just the second back-to-back national rebounding champ since 1973. He was also named Second Team All-MAAC in his final season after averaging 50 percent from the field and a team-best 13.3 points and Division I-best 11.4 rebounds per game.
During his record-setting junior year, he became the first MAAC player to lead the nation in rebounding, shattering a school record 23 double-doubles. Anosike has been a Siena standout since his first season, when he averaged 51 percent from the field for a Siena team that won the MAAC championship and pressed Purdue in the NCAA tournament. Since his young start he has appeared in all 128 games of his collegiate career.
As a student-athlete, Anosike has also excelled in the classroom, with a 3.36 GPA in economics.