For most college basketball players, the offseason follows a well-worn script. Go home and see family, return to campus, then grind in the gym before a new season dawns.
That’s a luxury that Michigan transfer forward Olivier Nkamhoua doesn’t know. His offseason has been chaotic since the jump.
First, Nkamhoua declared for the NBA Draft, only to withdraw on May 30 just a day before the deadline. He simultaneously entered the transfer portal, spawning an out-of-control social media hype train that saw him delinked from the very school he ended up choosing — rumors he says didn’t come from him, since he only spoke directly to schools. Now, after working out in Ann Arbor for a few weeks, he’s headed back out of town to play for Finland in the FIBA World Cup.
Yeah, he’s been busy.
“I hate to say but it’s nothing really new,” Nkamhoua said Saturday. “I’ve always kind of had to be on the move a little bit at certain times in my life. So it’s not too new to me.”
New or not, that sort of offseason can create a lot of pressure. It’s an environment of constant acclimation and re-acclimation. Roll with one punch just to wind up at the next. It’s not easy, but thankfully Nkamhoua has a support system behind him.
“I’m gonna have a good amount of time first in just Finland — Helsinki, where my mom is,” Nkamhoua said. “So I have time with my family while I’m also able to work on my game. So, really I’ve been blessed to be able to put in places where I have family and the ability to play basketball. It’s made it really easy for me to settle in everywhere.”