UAAP: Isaac Go teaching tricks of the trade to Ivorian Angelo Kouame

Danine Cruz on Sep 07, 2018 03:07 PM
UAAP: Go teaching tricks of the trade to Ivorian Kouame
First-year player Angelo Kouame has gotten for himself a more than capable mentor in Gilas cadet Isaac Go

Ateneo de Manila University will have a new guy manning the paint in Season 81 and his name is Angelo Kouame.

Close followers of college basketball during the offseason may already be familiar with the 6-foot-10 big man from Côte d’Ivoire after he made waves in the Filoil Preseason and the William Jones Cup.

From being the tournament MVP in the preseason cup to dishing out double-double performances in the international league, the 20-year-old Kouame has been showing a lot of promise for the title retention bid of the Blue Eagles.

This, considering that basketball is just a new sport for him.

"Angelo has very little background in basketball, he has very little teaching, he has very little experience," coach Tab Baldwin said about Kouame who was initially a football player.

"There are some complexities to our system, there is some depth and breadth to our system and it’s a real challenge for him, but he’s an intelligent kid," Baldwin added.

Thrown in a sophisticated system like Baldwin's is a tough challenge for any newbie in the sport, but fortunately, Kouame has always been described as a quick learner and a sponge. As per Baldwin, Kouame just has to stick through all the growing pains.

"It’s a lot to absorb for him. There’s going to be ups and downs. I think he has a big upside, I think a lot of people see that. It’s hard to hide when he’s [almost] seven foot, he’s got a great wingspan. But I think what people don’t see is that he’s still a young kid. In basketball terms, very young, and young kids make mistakes," said Baldwin.

Aside from Baldwin, another key person Ateneo has apparently taken the first-year player under his wing.

Isaac Go has been serving as big brother to Kouame and has been ingraining in him the philosophy that there is no I in team.

"He's bought into the idea that. ‘Okay, I really don’t care if I score. But I will help the team score,’ which is two different things really. He's really doing what's best for the team," Go said.

"If getting a 20-point, 20-rebound game gets us a win, he’ll do it. If it’s 10 points and 20 rebounds, he’ll do it. He’ll do everything," he added.

With all of that, fellow Blue Eagles have nothing but great things to say about Kouame. According to them, he is an all around good guy.

In fact, when asked about what he is like as a teammate, Go has this to say: "He's been great for us, not only on the court but off the court. He's been a good kid, helping up everybody, making sure everybody’s fine," Go said.

With all of that factored in, it's safe to say that it is nice for Ateneo to have Angelo Kouame on their side.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.

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