December 5, 2008

Postin' Up with Ade Dagunduro

This marks the first edition of HuskersIllustrated.com's new weekly feature, Postin' Up, where we take a few minutes to get to know members of the Nebraska basketball team a little better off the court. This week, we're postin' up with senior guard Ade Dagunduro.


HI: I hear you used to be quite the soccer player? Talk about your soccer career.

AD: I don't know about so much of a career. I wouldn't call it a career, but I've been playing soccer since I can remember. My dad obviously is from Nigeria, and they take soccer very serious there. So he made sure that I was on to soccer from the early stages of my life.


HI: When did you start playing?

AD: Probably since I could first kick a ball. I got pretty good around 6 or 7 years old, and took off from there.


HI: Did you play on any club teams or anything?

AD: Yeah, I played on a couple of club teams in California. Some youth soccer programs and what not. (I played) in elementary also, just played at lunch time or at local parks with the guys. But I'm pretty good, though.


HI:What position did you play?

AD: I was always a forward. I wanted to score goals. I couldn't play goalie. Not that there's anything wrong with playing goalie, I just didn't get too much of a thrill being goalie. Goalie is fun, but I just like being a forward.


HI: Did you have a favorite soccer player growing up?

AD: Definitely. His name was Daniel Amokachi. He's a Nigerian forward. They won, I believe it was the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. That was obviously a huge deal for my dad and me and brothers also. Definitely Daniel Amokachi was my favorite player growing up.


HI: What made you decide to play basketball instead of soccer?

AD: Going into my senior year of high school, the three previous years I played varsity football. I happened to be working out with a lot of alumni of Inglewood (Calif.) High School, like Paul Pierce and Rayshawn Reed, who went to Georgetown, and they were just telling me I might have a chance to get a scholarship in basketball. At Inglewood, you can't play both (soccer and basketball). The coaches don't' allow you to play both sports, so it was kind of pick and choose, and I just felt like in order to get a scholarship, maybe I should stick with basketball."


HI: Looking back, is there anything you prefer about soccer over basketball?

AD: The overall excitement. You've got to have patience in soccer, because scores don't come often. But it's that patience leading up to a goal that makes the goal that much more important. It's just the skill. Obviously basketball takes a lot of skill, but the skill of soccer is jus one of a kind. I love soccer.


HI: Talk about your football career in high school.

AD: My freshman year I played JV and varsity, sophomore year I also played JV and varsity and junior and senior year I played strictly varsity. That was my No. 1 sport growing up in terms of playing. That's what I played the most was football. Obviously my older brother played for the University of Nebraska. That's what we did, was play football in the streets. I played free safety and quarterback. I've got a canon. Even though we rant the Wing-T and I was pretty much doing a lot of blocking, I can throw it if need be.


HI: Ever thought about offering your services to the football team here?

AD: Definitely. I actually thought about it this spring, going over there and trying out. Coach Pelini asked me if I had another year if eligibility. I told him I think I'm done, so I won't be able to play for the Huskers' football team. But it would've been fun.


HI: You're on a date with girl here in Lincoln. Where do you go and what do you do?

AD: I'd probably do something chill. I'm not your extravagant type of guy, so I'd probably go to Kopeli's, grab a couple frappuccinos and just sit down and talk. That's probably what would consist of a date with me.


HI: Do you play video games?

AD: Not as much as I used to, but I definitely still do play video games.


HI: Xbox or PlayStation?

AD: Xbox 360. I used to be a PlayStation guy, but the last two years have been Xbox.


HI: What's your game?

AD: Halo Nation, baby. I'm a Halo guy, man. Not as much on-line as just playing against the team. We can lose track of about seven hours playing Halo, man. We've had some hectic nights with the teammates playing Halo.


HI: Who's the best Halo player on the team?

AD: I would definitely say me. I'm a humble guy, but I've got to be honest, I destroy guys like Ryan Anderson and Sek Henry in Halo. Ryan's a close second, but the rest of the guys are terrible. I'm the best at Halo.


HI: What's in your car CD player right now?

AD: Probably be a little Raheem DeVaughn. I'm a neo-soul type of guy, a little mellow, but at the same time a little, a little rhythmic. A lot of neo-soul is what I listen to.


HI: What do you listen to before games?

AD: Neo-soul. Most guys probably listen to like hardcore rap or rock to try and get themselves pumped up, but I think listening to a little neo-soul has a calming effect, and just clams me and gets me in my mode.


HI: I know Ola's full name translates to "Born Across the Ocean with Full Wealth." What does your name mean?

AD: My full name in Adeola Adedokun Dagunduro. It means 'Born Across the Ocean with Wealthy Crown.' 'Ade' means crown, and you can only get the name 'Ade' if your father bears the royal bloodline. My great grandfather was a king, and my grandmother was a queen, so that's where the name came from.


HI: I see. How long have you been going with just Ade?

AD: Ever since I can remember. It's funny, despite my name being so long, some people even get Ade wrong. It's just three letters, and still people get that wrong. But that will do over them trying to pronounce my full name. (For the record, Ade's name is pronounced Ah-deh Dah-gun-der-oh)

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