Prince Obasi is a 25 year old 193cm point guard from Reseda, California that has been a professional basketball player since 205. He started his basketball career with Saddleback CC (JUCO). Then he moved to Seattle (NCAA) and as a senior played 29 games averaging 8.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.3%, 3PT: 27.4%, FT: 55.3%. He started his professional career in 2015 with Patriotas de Tunja (Colombia-Liga DirecTV) playing 24 games averaging 11.7ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.4%; Liga Americas: 3 games: 10.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 23.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 50.0%. He also played with Bucaros de Bucaramanga (Colombia-Liga DirecTV) Liga DirecTV-1) playing 35 games averaging 9.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 67.2%. He started this season with a try-out with German pro A team Kirchheim Knights, but left. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career.
Prince thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how have you been keeping busy since your Kirchheim experience?
I am in Irvine, California and I have been trying to contact different teams in order to get signed again. Even tried out for Ludwigsburg 2nd team but they didn’t sign me.
How tough was accepting the fact that the Kirchheim Knights and Prince Obasi had to go separate ways?
It was very tough because I know how good I am and believed I could do great in the league plus help the team receive the playoffs once again.
It seemed to be a numbers thing in which Kirchheim decided to go with Jonathon Williams and Seth Hinrichs. Were you able to digest the hard reality that basketball is also a business?
I have never been cut before so it was hard to understand that they were letting me go for these players but I can understand it because they have better resumes than me. I just know I shouldn’t be home and playing somewhere right now.
The Kirchheim Knights organization stated that you were a role model and great guy. Did you have a last meeting with head coach Michael Mai where you discussed their reasons for going a different direction?
Yes we had a meeting and I didn’t want to believe it that I was going home. It was hard to accept but I tried my best and that’s all I can handle. Not the business side.
What will you remember most from your short experience with the Kirchheim Knights?
I will remember playing against the BBL teams like Ludwigsburg and Tubingen and just thinking that I know I can play in that league against these kind of players.
You played two seasons in Columbia. How big is your desire to lace them up in Europe for an organization?
I know my game is perfect for Europe so just want to prove myself for at least one season because I know how good I am.
After finishing basketball at Seattle(NCAA), you stayed a year in school to finish your studies. Do you feel like that hurt your chances a little of going the traditional route finding a team right after basketball?
Yes it did because I know I would be doing this interview but getting finished with practice some where in Europe or some where else.
You seemed to have had to prove yourself your whole career as you once showed moving from Saddleback CC (JUCO) to the NCAA and Seattle. Is this fact something that has gotten easier to deal with time?
I’ve learned no one will ever help me the easy way so the struggle is what I have to deal with and understand that my time will come. A coach and club will realize my talent and skills soon just have to be patient because giving up is not a option.
Why do you feel like you have the game to play in professional leagues in Europe?
I play with balance and pose on offense and on defense I play with heart and it is toughest to guard people smaller or taller than me so Europe is perfect. It has the vibe that fits perfect for me and what I have been waiting for all my life.
Talk a little about your game. You are a guard that can fill the stat sheet. What is your strength and to what NBA player would you compare your game to?
I use ball screens great just like Chris Paul and his defense is intense. He can shoot 3’s and his decision making is exactly how I would play.
If you had to describe your game in a few sentences as to why you could help any professional team now how would you say it?
I bring leadership on the offensive end especially to help each and every player think like a coach in order for everyone to be on the same page. On defense I take it personally even in practice for someone to score on me. I make sure to guard the best player on the other team so we can win any game we play. I am an overall basketball player with not only scoring but I will rebound and sacrifice for the team to win.
You played for Patriotas de Tunja (Colombia-Liga DirecTV) 11.7ppg, 4.3rpg, 4.0apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 38.6%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 70.4%; Liga Americas: 3 games: 10.0ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 23.5%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT: 50.0% and Bucaros de Bucaramanga (Colombia-Liga DirecTV, starting five): Liga DirecTV-1: 35 games: 9.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 3.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 51.4%, 3PT: 28.7%, FT: 67.2%. What kind of experience was it getting your first professional playing time and how did your game benefit from there?
I felt like I am finally reaching my dreams and going to finally be happy that I was able to do it on my own. I think I am more poised and relaxed with my abilities and understand that each day you are playing for your job because there is always someone out there that can take it from you.
You played your last two seasons of NCAA ball at Seattle playing a total of 56 NCAA games. How important was it that head coach Cameron Dollar who was 1995 NCAA champion with UCLA was a guard as a player? How did he help prepare and groom you best for a professional career?
It helped me go to Seattle because I respected him and his mindset of aggressiveness on and off the court. I am a very polite person and role model off the court and on the court I bring out the animal so Cameron Dollar helped me a lot in that way.
You and ex Seattle(NCAA) teammate Sterling Carter are without teams now. Do you feel for his situation and do you guys talk now?
I recently spoke to him but I don’t know his situation.
What was your fondest moment with Sterling Carter on and off the court at Seattle(NCAA)?
He made 6 straight 3 pointers off the bench that was so great to watch.
One of your best individual games was in a 68-57 loss to Stanford that featured future NBA players John Huestis, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell. What memories do you have of this game and when you look at their skill level, do you feel like there is a big difference between what they can do on the court and you?
I remember that they could not guard me at all and they just went to a better school. That is the only difference they have over me.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 legendary NBA heads would you choose?
Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan .
Lebron finally won an NBA title for the Cavs. Where does he stand bow in the debate with the all-time greats?
He is for sure a top 10 player of all time.
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where does his legacy stand with the all-time greats?
He is the 3rd best power forward to ever play.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The woman on the train.
Thanks Prince for the chat.