Friday, February 5, 2016

What is up with Alfred Aboya?

I got a chance to catch up with Alfred during the holidays. Alfred is one-half of the Cameroonian combo along with Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Fondly referred to as "AA2" on Bruin Zone (Arron Afflalo being AA), Alfred played at the 4 and 5 position in the Bruin line up. AA2 wore #12 and played at UCLA for 4 years, from 2005-09, reaching the Final 4 three times, and the championship game once. AA2 is back in Westwood, working on his Master's Degree. 

1) Alfred, Happy New Year! What are you doing these days? I heard you are back at UCLA?
I am completing the classes that I did not complete in the first year of my Master's program in Public Affairs. Upon completion of the classes, hopefully I will be readmitted back to The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. After my degree, I hope to start my political career which will take me back home to Cameroon.

2) How does it feel like being back on campus? Who are the players and coaches you've run into over there? Do you guys hang out? Play basketball? 
It feels different being back on campus, because when I was here before, i was a student athlete but now I am a full time student. And I have not run into anyone else from when I was here playing. I haven't  play basketball in months but I will resume with it soon.

3) I saw the video you did for UCLA, where you talked about what UCLA meant to you. How did that come about?
I was visiting UCLA and one of the media guy approached me and asked me if I had a minute to do a video and talk about my UCLA experience, and I did.

4) When did you start playing basketball? Was basketball your first sport? If your first sport was not basketball, what made you decide to go with basketball?
14 years old. Before basketball, I played soccer, handball, volleyball. But when I grew taller, I started playing basketball.

5) Who recruited you to UCLA? 
Coach Ernie Ziegler when I was attending Tildon Prep School in New Hampshire.

6) Did you know of UCLA before they came to recruit you? 
I did not know anything about UCLA at all prior of coming and visit on my recruiting trip.

7) Did you know Luc before you guys got to UCLA?
Yes I did back In Yaoundé in the basketball community.

8) What is your fondest memory from UCLA? 
The Final Fours.

9) Do you hate Florida? They were always the team that bumped UCLA out of the tournament. 
No, I don't hate Florida. They were better than us the both times we played them. 

10) Do you still remember that dunk you had on Joakim Noah? Did you guys draw that play (Darren to you for the slam) during the last time out or was that unplanned/impromptu? Interestingly, Joakim is half-Cameroonian, he didn't let you dunk on him as a favor, did he?
It was one of our baseline out of bounds play. I don't particularly think about it, but I have been reminded of it everywhere I went on to play, which is pretty neat.

11) Can you summarize your basketball history? Starting from high school, then UCLA, then your pro teams? How was Japan? Did you run into other UCLA players out there? 
"FUN" can summarize my basketball career since I won at every level (High School, UCLA and Pro) . Fortunately or unfortunately, I did not play against any UCLA teammates overseas. Japan was a mixture of great and scary moments. Winning the championship there was great, and experiencing the Tsunami and the earthquake was the scary part.

12) You recently shut down your pro ball career. Why did you feel it was time to move on from pro basketball? What will you miss from being a pro baller?
I couldn't get offers that were satisfying for me to play overseas and that prompted my decision to shut it down. The basketball skills are transferable, I think. So my work ethic, dedication, team work etc... could be transferred to the work place. Consequently, nothing will be missed because everything will still be used.

13) You have a foundation, 3 A (Alfred Aboya Academy), can you talk about what your foundation does? 
The foundation provides inner city kids in Yaounde a platform for them to learn and better their basketball skills; and most importantly, to better themselves as human beings through community services that we participate in. 

14) How about a shout out to Cameroon, why do you think people should visit Cameroon? What makes it special? Any more Indomitable Lions coming out from Cameroon and playing hoops (like Embid, Batum)? 
Cameroon is often "Miniature Africa" because it contains everything that the continent has to offer. If you are a beach person, Douala, Kribi, and Limbe got you covered. If you love safari, The Northern part got you covered with the "Park the Waza" and lions in the wild. If you are an adventurous person, the rain forests' got you covered.

15) How do you feel about the current status of Cameroon basketball? (The National Team, not pro)
We took a step back with the past Afrobasket. But we are a young team and we'll be alright. So I'm not too concern about the current situation of my national team.

16) Back to UCLA Basketball, do you still follow UCLA Basketball? How do you feel about the current status of UCLA Basketball?
I do follow UCLA basketball and I hope that we go back to our old ways which is "" dominate "" college basketball.

17) Thanks so much, Alfred. Best of luck in grad school! 

Alfred Aboya highlights at UCLA

Alfred Aboya talks about his parents, his 6'8" grandmother and growing crops (LA Times March 4 2009)

Their UCLA legacy: Darren Collison, Josh Shipp, Alfred Aboya (LA Times March 23 2009)

Alfred Aboya highlights in the pros.

Other links on Alfred:

Alfred's profile on (link)
Wikipedia entry on Alfred (link)

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