Monday, July 16, 2012

Oruche goes from UIS to Olympics

Richard Oruche was a child the last time he set foot in Nigeria.

The former University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball player can’t recall how old he was when he last visited the homeland of his parents, yet he has a big-hearted affection for the African nation that he will represent at the upcoming Summer Olympics in London.

Oruche, who graduated from UIS in 2010 with a degree in business administration, is a member of the Nigerian basketball team. He was born in Oak Park and holds dual citizenship in Nigeria and the United States.

His mother, Harriet Adenle-Ouma, and father, Osita Oruche, were in their 20s when they immigrated to the U.S., according to Richard.

“I grew up hearing all the stories about what my parents went through in Nigeria,” Richard said via telephone from Chicago. “Being a part of their African and Nigerian tradition is a big part of my life. I was exposed to two sides of the world.

“It feels real good to represent all they went through and for my country. I have a lot of family still in Nigeria. My whole family is supporting me. I hope to make them proud.”

Oruche was featured in a July 14, 2012, article in the State Journal-Register.

Read the article online