Tai Odiase is a 6'9 center who is in his fourth year of professional basketball. After a decorated college career at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he started his career in Spain before stops in Greece and the NBA G League. For the past two seasons, Odiase has played in the German Basketball Bundesliga, playing for BG Gottingen last season before moving to EWE Baskets Oldenburg. This season, Odiase is averaging 11.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for Oldenburg. We caught up with him to talk about about his experiences playing abroad.
Ballers Abroad: Thanks for talking with Ballers Abroad! First off, a little background.What team are you currently playing for, and where is it located?
Tai Odiase: I am currently playing for EWE Baskets Oldenburg located in Oldenburg, Germany.
BA: This is your second season in Germany - how have you adjusted, on and off the court, to Germany and the Basketball Bundesliga?
TO: I think I’ve adjusted pretty well! Germany is a very easy country to get adjusted to. I’ve adjusted in the BBL pretty well too. The competition is great and I’m just having fun every time I step on the court.
BA: Aside from international experience, you also played in the NBA G League for the Greensboro Swarm. What are some of the similarities and differences you noticed, having played pro hoops in the U.S. and abroad?
TO: In the US, you’ve obviously more comfortable since you are in your home country versus overseas. Overseas basketball is way more physical and tactical in my opinion as well.
BA: What goals do you have for the rest of this season?
TO: My goals are to stay consistent and to win as many games as possible. I want to make the playoffs!
BA: What has been your favorite thing about playing abroad? What's been the most surprising thing?
TO: My favorite thing about playing abroad is that that is all I do. I do not have to go to school or do anything else. So much free time to personal develop myself as a person and to learn new things. The only surprising thing is the language barrier at first. Also, one time in Germany, we had a game get canceled due to a WWII bomb being found near the arena. Apparently, that is very common in Germany.
BA: What is one piece of advice you'd give to a player who's looking to play professionally overseas?
TO: My advice for a player looking to play overseas in to focus on doing the best they can in their last season in college! If you didn’t go to college, I would say find a pro basketball showcase and kill in that!