Friday, August 3, 2012

UIS students cheer former Star Oruche

You wouldn’t have known the Nigerian men’s basketball team was down 26 points to the United States at the London Olympics when Nigeria’s No. 11 nailed a shot that drew a loud cheer during a party Thursday at the University of Illinois Springfield.

That’s because former UIS standout Richard Oruche was wearing the No. 11 uniform for Nigeria. An estimated crowd of 50 people filled a lounge in the Student Life Building on campus to watch Oruche, a 2010 UIS graduate, play for Nigeria in a record-setting 156-73 loss to Team USA.

DiVinci Smith, a senior business management major from Joliet, was in attendance. He was a redshirt basketball player for UIS in 2009.

“He (Oruche) is on television playing against people he probably idolized,” Smith said. “It’s crazy to see him playing against them because I played against this dude. I guarded him. I had competition with him.”

The watch party was featured in a August 3, 2012, article in the State Journal-Register.

Read the article online