Kigab finds home at Boise State
Abu Kigab is ready for the next adventure on his hoops journey.
Midway through his sophomore season with the Oregon Ducks NCAA Division 1 basketball team, the 20-year-old St. Catharines resident decided to transfer to the Boise State Broncos. He will be eligible to play for his new team halfway through the 2019-20 season.
“I felt like it was time for me to go somewhere else to get a chance to expand my game and show what I am capable of,” the 6-foot-6 player said. “It’s a new opportunity and I am really looking forward to it.”
The former St. Francis Phoenix star didn’t take his decision lightly.
“It took me a while but at the end of the day I had to do what was best for me,” he said. “Sometimes what’s best for me, some people might not like it and some people think I made a mistake but I felt I did what is best for me. What was best for me was to leave Oregon and come to Boise State.”
Boise State competes in the Mountain West Conference and the last time the team played in the NCAA tournament was 2015. Last season, the team was 13-20 overall and 7-11 in conference play.
“It’s the way they play and the freedom of movement which will allow me to show my game,” he said. “There are open spots where I can just come in and play my game. I am really looking forward to doing that. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Kigab averaged 7.7 minutes of playing time in his freshman season and was averaging 2.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 15 minutes of playing time in his second season with Oregon before leaving after 10 games.
The former St. Catharines athlete of the year is looking forward to getting back to doing what he does best.
“I’m an aggressive player and I go after it and really compete,” he said. “I try to win every single possession on defence and offence.”
The former under-19 national team member admits it was difficult to sit out the remainder of his second season.
“At first, it was tough but after that I told myself I am on a mission,” he said. “The time I had to take off from basketball only made me hungrier and made me want to play even more. It was kind of blessing in disguise.”
He feels he has made great strides in his ballhandling, shooting and decision making since becoming a scholarship basketball player.
“Those three things I have improved tremendously throughout the year,” the former Prolific Prep player said. “I have put the work in and I believe in myself. I kept on getting better and better and I still am. I am going to continue working on those three things and hopefully it will take me far.”
After spending a bit of time back in St. Catharines in June, Kigab is now at Boise State taking summer classes and working out with the basketball team. In between his schoolwork, he lifts weights at 10 a.m. and practices at 2:45 p.m.
“I usually get there early before weights and do bunch of ballhanding and shooting,” he said. “I am doing that every single day and staying late after practice as well.”
All the work is done with care.
“You have to really manage your body when you do that because you can’t try and do too much because you end up getting hurt,” Kigab said. “That’s worse than not doing anything at all.”
He still loves basketball.
“My passion for the game is what drives me every single day. I wake up and I want to go to the gym, I want to lift weights and I want to put in the extra time,” he said. “If I didn’t still have my passion for the game, I wouldn’t be playing basketball.”
He hasn’t set any specific goals for the upcoming season.
“My main personal goal is just to get better every single day. I am taking it one day at a time and trying not to look too far ahead,” he said. “I am setting little goals throughout the week and throughout the day that I have to hit. Just hitting those little goals gives me confidence and it makes me feel that I can do more than what I am capable of.”
Boise State head coach Leon Rice is delighted to land Kigab.
“We’re getting an exceptional player in Abu,” he told the school’s athletic website. “Not only is he great on the court, but he’s also a high character student-athlete who is going to be a perfect addition to the team. We couldn’t be happier that he chose to continue his collegiate career here at Boise State.”