I am very excited to announce that we recently concluded a great interview with GU fan favorite Abdullahi Kuso. I hope everyone enjoys the interview, because I know I had a great time doing it.
The Kennel Report: You and Pendo are putting together a a rec-center in your hometown of Kaduna, Nigeria. What made you want to do this and what challenges have you faced?
Abdullahi Kuso: It was just an idea that Pendo and I had come up with a couple of weeks ago, and I had told Pendo that it would be a dream of mine to build a rec-center in Kaduna. At the senior awards banquet, Pendo told some alums about the plan and they were very supportive. We ended up meeting with John Rudolph, and he along with many other people in the Spokane community are helping with the funding and putting it together. There is lots of religious strife and kids who live on the streets in Kaduna, and I think this rec-center would give them an opportunity to get off the street and play basketball.
TKR: What are your plans now that you have graduated from GU?
AK: I had my knee scoped when the season ended, so I am spending the summer in Spokane trying to get back in shape. I have talked to some agents, and hopefully I can play basketball in Europe. I wouldn't have been able to do any of the NBA pre-draft camps because of the injury to my knee. I couldn't even practice before the NCAA tournament and that's why I only played 5 minutes against Davidson.
TKR: Growing up in Nigeria, what made you become interested in playing basketball?
AK: I was a lazy kid growing up, and what I liked to do was eat and watch lots of TV. A family friend, who was in the army, coaches basketball and invited me to come play. When you're 6'9 you kinda have to play. Growing up I liked soccer more, but I became interested in the NBA and basketball because I was able to watch all the highlights on TV and hear about the money they were making.
TKR: You had a great 2 years at GU, but what was your favorite moment as a basketball player here?
AK: Senior night and the University of Washington game. When I stepped on the court for the UW game, I thought "Oh My God" we have to win this game. It felt like a soccer stadium, and it seemed like there were 30,000 people in the gym.
TKR: In losing you and Pendo, it seems the team is losing the 2 players who were most willing to do the "dirty work". Who do you think will take over this role for next year's team?
AK: Rob, he is willing to do it. Everyday in practice we did drills that were really tough and made us take charges and dive all over the court, but sometimes it just didn't happen in games. Rob and Steven are both willing to play defense and give their bodies. But it really should be the whole team doing this, and the whole team finding a way to win. In the locker room they post all types of stats, like stats about who has the most steals and who has taken the most charges. Pendo and I had a competition going about who would be the highest on all the stats that had to with doing the "dirty work".
TKR: It seems that throughout the season the playing team fluctuated quite a bit for many of the players. Do you feel this made it difficult for you and others to establish a rhythm and consistency?
AK: We had so much talent, and what the coaches were trying to do is find the best fit that would help the team win. I didn't feel that when I lost playing time that the decision the coaches made was personal, I just tried to find different ways that would let me help the team win.
The Kennel Report would like to thank Kuso for this great interview. I truly had a great time with the interview, and would really encourage any people in the Spokane community to try and get to know Kuso before he leaves.