Nigeria born Humphery Gabriel arrived Taiwan in September to pursue a 4 year Degree Program at the Vanung University Chinese Taipei.
His return to Nigeria was the first time he visited the country he left when he was 9 years about 12 years ago. “It was really strange for me to see the country of my birth, I can barely recall any memory of Nigeria when we arrived Lagos and even after visiting Ibadan – Where I grew up – and Agbor my home Land, I still couldnt figure out where I was” Gabriel said in an exclusive Interview.
The Nigeria left Cambodia in 2013 for USA to Obtain his High School Diploma where he took to Basketball despite wanting to play Football.
“I took to Basketball by chance, My First Love was actually football, but my dad plays basketball and we usually train together and so when i go to the USA, Basketball was popular and so i played both football and basketball and started to develop the passion for basketball” he recalled
Humphery Gabriel was the youngest Player to play in the Cambodian Basketball League when at 15 years he played for the Extra Joss Warrior – Now Extra Joss Fighters- in the inaugural edition of the Cambodia Basketball League before leaving for the USA.
“That was really surprising, I played along with my Father in the team and it was really the start of my love for the game, We did’nt do so well that season as we finished in the quarter finals but it was a good experience for me” he said
Humphery Gabriel returned in 2014 to star for the Extra Joss Fighters but Couldnt stay till the end of the season as he had to return to the USA to complete his high School Diploma and finally came back in 2018 and continued with the Fighters and inspired them on the road to their first CBL title in 2019 before leaving for Taiwan.
“Yeah, After My High School in Mesa Ridge Colorado Springs, I went to Carlifornia for Prep School in 2017 at Elite Basketball Academy where i really learned the game of basketball, it was tough but the passion for the game led me through. I was happy to return to Cambodia to play again while waiting for College opportunity, we lost in the CCC summer basketball Finals which was really painful to me because it was the 4th time Extra Joss Fighters will be losing in the final and we wanted to end that winless run. But i was happy we finally made it in 2019, although I missed the finals because i was already in Taiwan by then” he continued.
Talking about his Experience in Tawain, the Nigeria who has suddenly lightened up the University basketball Association’s League with his crazy dunks simulating that of his idol Lebron James is looking forward to leading Vanung University back to the elite division after they got dropped last season.
” I came to Taiwan around September to Vanung University, For me it was a very cool experience to come here, everybody is very nice to me, In My school I am the only person from Africa here and everyone is very nice to me, in my basketball team, everyone is funny and they always make jokes with me”
So far, in the beginning we played a lot of games, and practiced everyday, in the beginning maybe it was a little bit hard for me because practicing everyday, maybe its different but i like it a lot and we get stronger as a team everyday, we played a lot of games against Junior High school and colleges, and it was very fun”
“We started our season on December 16, we played our first game, and so far we have finished the first round and we won all our games, we are 6-0 now and right before the Christmas we played our last game in the first round and won 63-45. For me i feel like the first round is very good and everyone played very well, we played maybe two games that was very difficult but we won at the end and i feel good and proud of my team.”
“Personally i feel i could do a lot better, i missed a lot of shot and i made a few mistakes but i am excited for our team in the next round.”
Vanung University will return for the second round in February and Humphery Gabriel is expected to continue to lead the line as they seek promotion to the elite Div of the University Basketball Association.
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