CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Semi Ojeleye

This Article by Bermuda Bob

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Semi Ojeleye Collage

Sometime after last season, I recall explaining to someone that Semi’s last name was pronounced essentially the same way you say the name of the harvest wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, swapping the “B” for an “O.”

Then the person asked how to spell his name, and I could not do it any more than I could spell Krzyzewski without a cheat sheet.

For the record, “Semi Ojeleye” is his name, and while I nervously joked that I didn’t know the spelling of his name because he only played 80 minutes last year, the truth of the matter is that I expect him to be a major contributor this season.

Semi (correctly pronounced as “Schemmi”) was born Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye in Kansas.  His father came to the USA from Nigeria to pursue an Internship and Residency at Kansas University Medical Centre. His mother is a Registered Nurse.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a 4.0 GPA, as his school’s Valedictorian, and National Honor Society member. He started all four (4) years in High School, averaging 38 PPG, and was lauded as the Parade Magazine Player of the Year, and Gatoraide’s Kansas Player of the Year.

Semi excels in every aspect of the game.  He is an elite defensive player with great rebounding prowess, playing well beyond his size.  He can score both inside and from outside the Three Point Arch. He is also known for his incredible leaping ability, fitness, and strength.

I have always joked that I want to live long enough for “inter-active” television where fellow viewers could hear each other’s rants during the game.  If you owned a television with this yet-unavailable ability, you would have heard me begging and pleading for Coach K to use Semi more last season.  To me, he was the perfect player to come off the bench and make a difference. Instead, Semi got to perfect his splinter extraction prowess.

As is our custom, we try to give readers a well-rounded history of each player we are profiling, thus our collages for each player. Try as I did, I had trouble finding a wide variety of action photos of Semi, and I believe that photographers had the same problem fans did.  By the time it was noted that Semi got on the floor, he was back to pulling splinters.

So, once again this year, I worry that the term “practice player” is already being used to describe Semi like a bad tattoo.   I know the profiles of teams have changed since I first became a college basketball fan decades ago, but I have a hard time with subverting an upperclassman. My compatriot of this site, Ro Shiell, constantly tells me things aren’t the same any more, and I agree with him.   I end up asking the rhetorical question back … “So, why recruit him if you’re not going to play him ???” Therein lies the rub.

Ever since I have been a Duke fan, I have heard the advisory that each recruit has to “buy-in-to” Coach K’s vision for him.  Coach has been known to ask players to become very different type of players than they were when they came to Duke.   Lance Thomas might be the best example. He was an offensive juggernaut in High School, but Coach K wanted him to become a defensive stalwart. He obliged and Duke won a National Championship.   Who could possibly question such results ???

None of us know what Coach K’s vision is for Semi, or if Semi accepts it. I could not understand it if he did not, so I presume he has.

I can tell you that it is very evident that it is on Semi’s mind.  My proof is that he has changed his uniform number from 20 to 30.  The reasoning ???  Well, just about every Duke player to don the #20 uniform, has had rough goings, erratic careers, or even injuries. On the other hand, Seth Curry and Jon Scheyer wore #30.  I rest my case, and obviously his as well !!!

As I did last year, I will take this opportunity to log-in my hope that Coach K will use Semi more this season because I maintain it is terrible to squander the contributions he can make in REAL competition.

I want everyone in the ACC and NCAA to understand that he is:

S-E-M-I     O-J-E-L-E-Y-E

Rock On, Semi !!!


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