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Stan Ocitti enjoying time on and off the court
4:00pm Saturday 22nd December 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
HE has played all over the world yet Stan Ocitti hopes his stay at Worcester Wolves will be one of the most important of his career.
The 32-year-old Uganda-born power forward has plyed his skills in the United States, Australia, Canada and Europe but was sold on the Wolves because of their links to the University of Worcester.
For Ocitti, while having no plans to hang up his trainers just yet, has one eye on his future and felt Worcester offered him the best chance of a career post-basketball.
Alongside being a regular starter for Wolves, who sat in fifth place in the British Basketball League prior to Glasgow Rocks’ clash wtih London Lions last night, he is studying for a masters in business administration.
“One of my friends played basketball in England and she told me about Worcester Wolves and the programme of combining studies with professional basketball,” he said.
“I contacted (head coach) Paul James and we just started talking.
“One thing led to another and evenutally I came over here to study as well as to play.
“I am one of the older guys so once I’m done playing basketball I want something to fall back on.
“I think this is a great opportunity with education because it gives you a gateway into something else.
“I’m 32 which is still young but, for a professional athlete, it’s like winding down your career.
“It was a great opportunity so I’m very thankful and happy.”
Ocitti, who stands 6ft 8ins, has slotted well into the Wolves set-up, earning recognition in the BBL team of the week, and he believes the team are set for success.
He said: “We started slowly because we didn’t have all our players.
“Sherrad Prezzie-Blue wasn’t here so we weren’t able to play together.
“But now I think, with Sherrad here and the addition of Kai Williams, that helps us out a lot and we are where we want to be.
“At the beginning of the season, we ranked ourselves highly and we feel we’ve not been playing to that calibre.
“I think, with these two additional guys, we will definitely be able to play the way we want to.
“There are many positives going into the new year so we’re not so much thinking about the first-half of the season.
“It’s more like a new start to the campaign with the new year and the opening of the arena.
“There’s a lot of positive stuff.”