Bishop Walsh (Md.) 2019 Forward Olivier Nkamhoua.
2019 forward Olivier Nkamhoua generated some buzz when he came to America from Finland a little over a year ago, but had his junior season at Richard Montgomery (Md.) scuttled by a leg injury.
Now healthy - and following a summer transfer to Bishop Walsh (Md.) - the 6-foot-9, 215-pounder finally has a chance to show what he can do.
Nkamhoua - who holds D-I offers from Kennesaw State, Mount St. Mary’s, Siena and UMass-Lowell - is athletic and versatile, and made plays on both ends of the floor in Bishop Walsh’s win over Archbishop Carroll in the inaugural More Than Basketball/St. John’s Invitational on December 15. He finished with 12 points and four rebounds and showed nice touch while going 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
“Today I came in knowing that they have two big guys who are going to try to rebound,” he said, “and I figured as long as I rebound and run them - because I’m faster - then I’ll do good, and everybody else was supporting me on that really well.”
After the game, Nkamhoua took some time to talk about his moves to America and Bishop Walsh, his game and more:
HOW HAS THE MOVE TO BISHOP WALSH GONE?
“Since last year I didn’t play at all due to an injury, this year Coach [Dan] Prete has helped me out a lot. It’s been pretty smooth and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve definitely had to learn a lot of things to get used to the way we play.”
WHAT IS THE TEAM’S POTENTIAL?
“We play hard. We have a deep, deep squad and we’re very versatile - everybody can play almost every position.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE MISSING YOUR JUNIOR SEASON?
“That was the second time [I was injured], but that first time wasn’t this bad. It was tough, but after about a month or so, I just realized I have to take this opportunity and make sure I come back stronger with better fundamentals and make sure it never happens again.”
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE STRENGTHS OF YOUR GAME?
“I’m pretty versatile and I go after it. I try to play very good defense every single day; I know if my offense is not working then I know my defense is where I’ll have it. I just try to stay calm - sometime I may not, but I try my best.”
HOW IS YOUR RECRUITMENT GOING?
“It’s mostly mid-major schools and a couple of high-major looks. The mid-major schools are the ones that are mostly recruiting me right now.”
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A SCHOOL?
“For me, its just to go to a place where everybody wants to win and everybody wants to win the same way, and their idea of playing basketball is the same as what I have.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OFF THE COURT?
“I like to watch cartoons, sleep, eat and be with friends, always. And then I do like to watch a lot of basketball highlights, even when I’m not playing.”
WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY?
“Finland and Cameroon. My father is from Cameroon and my mother is from Finland.”
HOW WAS IT MOVING TO AMERICA?
“America is a little bit different from where I’m from, but still people are people and there’s nice people and there’s not so nice people - you just have to find where to be and who to be with. Since I play so much basketball, you don’t really notice the difference because all you’re doing is going to practice, going to school, going to practice, sleeping, eating, you know?”
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE BASKETBALL MEMORY?
“I scared 30 points once - but actually no, it’s playing one-on-one with my older brother. He doesn’t play anymore, so that’s one of those memories that I really hold onto. He used to play and I loved playing with him - he would beat me, but I [loved it].”