Mohammed Abubakar isn't your typical college basketball player. He isn't your typical student at Oklahoma Baptist University.
But even though his story isn't typical, he is making the most of his opportunity to play basketball for the Bison.
As you might have guessed from his name, Abubakar wasn't raised in a small town in Oklahoma as a member of a Southern Baptist church. Even though he is 6'7" he also didn't grow up playing basketball. He didn't begin playing until he was 15 years old.
"We played a lot of soccer," Abubakar said of his home in Lagos, Nigeria. "We didn't play video games. We ran and played a lot. I was taller than all of my friends and siblings so when there was a basketball camp, I wanted to do it."
It was never his dream to play basketball in college in America. In fact, he had never considered it.
"I never knew the opportunity existed until it happened for me," Abubakar said. "I knew a scout would be at the camp, but I didn't understand what was going on. When I found out I had a chance to come to America for school and to play, I was really excited."
Abubakar has a big family, growing up around his siblings, uncles and cousins. His family was excited for him too, but not just because of the opportunity for a great education and opportunities in athletics.
"It was one less mouth to feed and I can eat a lot," he said with a laugh.
Even though he is a Muslim who is a citizen of Nigeria, Abubakar has never had an issue with attending a faith-based school in America. He is respectful and honors the traditions of the religions here and this country during invocations and when the National Anthem plays before a game.
"It isn't a problem for me," he said. "I wouldn't want someone to disrespect my religion or my country so I would never do that to anyone."
Abubakar is truly grateful for the opportunity his height and that basketball camp in Nigeria have allowed him to have. In Nigeria, there was no air conditioning - and weather in sub-Saharan Africa can be extremely hot. Even though he went to school at home, it was very different than schools here.
"It is more structured here," he said. "I think it is easier to learn here because of that. It is a lot easier for me now that my English is better."
His road to America was paved by a scout who helped him find a host family, but his road from Georgia to OBU was all about the program's new coach. Jason Eaker was an assistant at Mercer College when Abubakar was recruited. When Eaker took the opportunity to move back to Oklahoma and take over Bison basketball, Abubakar was one of the big men who came with him.
Abubakar was excited to get to play at OBU for Eaker.
"Coach Eaker is a winner," he said. "He is intense. Our team wants to win. We did a lot this year and we can do even more under his leadership."
Abubakar said the opportunity to come to America and get an education while playing basketball has been a real blessing in his life.
As a business major, Abubakar still isn't sure what he wants to do after he graduates in a few years. He does know that if he has a chance to play basketball at the next level, he will do it.
"If my skills improve and I get to play professionally here or in Europe, I would love that," he said. "I just want to find a way to give back to my community and help give an opportunity like the one I received to someone else. If I can do that playing the game I love, that would be the best."