Adegboye was the man of the match in Aris win over PAOK, but behind the smile of the 27-year-old Aris player a socking story is well hidden. Adegboye spoke to sdna.gr about his first steps in basketball which were made under some difficult circumstances. “I grew up in Nigeria but me and my family moved to London. Then we moved back to Nigeria and returned to London when I was 12 years old. We were not poor, we were a normal family,” he says.
He lived in Brixton and decided to start playing football and rugby as a teenager. When he became 15 years old he changed his mind and he turned to basketball. “We didn't have future in basketball in the UK. But I didn't have the money to go to the USA. A friend of mine told me that a coach was looking for a point guard in a school of North Carolina. The name of the school was Laurinburg. The word disaster can't describe what I met there. It was a nightmare. There were just two toilets for 150 kids. We didn't have toilet paper either and instead of door we used to have a curtain. We had just two baths which they were not in service and we used to do showers with the dirty waters up to our knees. In my room I used to sleep with my clothes because every night we used to hear someone trying to break the lock to thieve us,” Adegboye told sdna.gr.
And he carries on: “We lacked of proper food and we didn't have teacher in the classroom. But my desire to play basketball was so big that I managed to suffer all this for four months. I was starving literally. But I couldn't return back to London because I wouldn't have chances to play basketball there. So I decided to stay in hell. The coach didn't give me much playing time and when I was given the chance I didn't have power because I was starving. The key players were given food secretly and they were the only ones who played as the others didn't have the power to play,” Adegboye says.
He remained there for four months but he thinks that he stayed for four years. But thankfully he met Josh Nokimson during an All Star game in Brixton, a man who changed his life. “I have no words to thank him. Josh used to send me food, blankets and all I needed. He was an angel for me. Josh paid for me the tickets to visit my family in London and he also gave me the key to stay in his house in Chicago. Also he tried to get me to another school away from Laurinburg. And he phoned to tell me that I would move to Las Vegas in the famous Findlay Prep school. When I landed there I broke in tears,” he recalls.
Nokimson supported Adegboye once more when he helped him to move to Junior College in Colorado. He then studied psychology in St. Bonaventure before playing at APOEL in Cyprus and at Nea Kifisia in Greece. “I think I can go much higher. I can't stop dreaming. If I was American I could have had more success because it's a taboo to be a British professional basketball player. But all these difficulties I faced so far in my career made me stronger as a person. I fight in every game for Aris. It's my first season here and I learn everyday. I feel I get better and I have already started learning Greek. But I always fight. All my life was a fight in fact,” Adegboye underlined.