PRINCE Orizu was a skater and a football player in his teens.
But now, he’s into basketball and the 6-foot-10 behemoth hopes to be a key piece in Far Eastern University’s championship run in Season 78 of the UAAP.
The 21-year-old Nigerian is in his first season with the Tamaraws after completing a two-year residency, just five years since he learned to play the sport.
Orizu shared that basketball wasn’t his first sport as he was into roller blades and was a goalkeeper in football.
“I was a skater. I just skate in local events, racing something like that. I was also a 'keeper. I grew taller and my mom was like, ‘Since you love watching basketball, why not try it.’ But I don’t like the sport.
“Then, I had a classmate who played basketball. I saw everything. I was inspired. I tried it for one week and I loved the sport,” said Orizu.
Despite being practically new to the sport, FEU coach Nash Racela said Orizu will play a key role for a Tamaraws team already orphaned by big men Anthony Hargrove and Carl Bryan Cruz.
“Prince is a young kid. This year, our expectation for him is to become a post defender and be a rebounder. Offensively, he is a little bit limited. Pero kapag nasa loob na siya, we expect him to score. We are doing it step-by-step. He is still learning the game,” Racela said.
Orizu, who got the feel of the UAAP game when he suited up for the school in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) last year, said he is looking forward to do what he has learned during his two-year residency with the team.
“I’m very excited because I’ve been waiting for two years. I’ve learned so much from the older guys on how the UAAP is all about. I think it will help me,” he said.
“Playing in the PCCL helped me prepare in terms of getting to know the team better, how to play with them, how to share the ball, and how to play as a team,” he added.
Orizu is optimistic about FEU’s chances of winning the title.
“For me, we just need to do the things to (win) the championship - hardwork and teamwork. I think that will do.”