20 October, 2020
09 May, 2021
BCL Writers' Block: Retin Obasohan and the vision over sight mantra
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BCL Writers' Block: Retin Obasohan and the vision over sight mantra

MIES (Switzerland) - In the build up for the Final 8 in Nizhny Novgorod, our own writers have taken a step back and gave the keyboard over to the players. The next one in line: ERA Nymburk's Retin Obasohan. We already had Dylan Ennis tell his story of the 30 foot layup and Ish Wainright describe Baylor's Sic 'em mentality within SIG Strasbourg.

I don't even know where to start...

Because I was actually in Athens when the last Final 8 was being played. I was out there working out as a free agent, preparing for the opportunity I believed was coming, but didn't know where it was coming from or how it would come to me.

I watched the games. I dreamed of playing on that stage, hoisting the trophy, I went crazy when they called travel on Hayden Dalton poster dunk. I saw all of it.

So to be here months later at the Final 8 with the team I watched play in the Final 8... It's a mind trip, truly. But I believe a message as well, my mantra is "Vision over Sight" and this season has been a reaffirmation of my mantra and my belief in it.

There will be times in life where what you want is not what you see today. Nonetheless I believe that you ought to prepare and work towards it. Your vision will help pull you through when the current circumstances aren't representative of what you want. And when I was in Athens training without a club and watching the Final 8, I had no idea. Absolutely no idea. I was preparing for the Final 8 myself. It's a story that's God written if you ask me.

I will say it wasn't easy. There was a lot of uncertainty everywhere and some moments where I'd wonder: "When will someone call?" God works in mysterious ways. Because this... I could not have guessed.

When the call came, I didn't know much more about ERA Nymburk than what I saw playing against them and watching them here and there. I knew they were a very good team last year, from playing against them and experiencing that first hand. I also gained much respect for them in that game, because they competed extremely hard while being shorthanded in Bamberg.

It wasn't until after I got the initial call that I started researching them and calling around. And at that moment it was pretty consistent around the board: a great and respected, well run organization, lead by a straight shooter of a Coach.

Also, when the call came, I didn't know a single thing about Nymburk, the town, besides it being in Czech Republic and it being remotely close to Prague. I didn't know anything about the city.

Thank you, Google Maps!

But once I got there, the click on and off the court came gradually. When I first came in, it was clear to me we were versatile and skilled. But truly as the year progressed, we have been able to create a synergy and bond that is special. On and off the court, we truly enjoy each other's company and that is visible when we play. We have been through adversity in a variety of ways this year. All that has done nothing but bring us closer together and deepen the trust we have in each other and the system.

I can't even tell you who impressed me the most of my teammates. I'll say that each and every one of them impressed me a lot in their own respective manner. Starting with Jerrick Harding, his ability to score the ball is elite and the best part is he's only just starting his professional career. The sky is the limit for him! He's improved so much over the year and at the pace he's going, he'll be a problem for a lot of opposing head coaches.

Vojtech Hruban, AKA John Wick. He's special in his own right as well. Playing against him, I saw first hand what he can do on a basketball court. But having played with him, day in day out, competing against each other and watching him in practice... It's no wonder why he's achieved the success he's had and performed the way he has for so many years. He's one of those true selfless leaders, that wants nothing more than the team's success, and when your best player sets the tone at that level, it trickles down to the rest of us. And we buy in to the fact, that it's all about the team.

Lukas Palyza - that's my dawg! He's a gym rat with a flamethrower for a jump shot. I remember watching the Bamberg game from my living room, the game in which he exploded in the fourth and the announcer mentioned that Palyza was having an out of body experience. And I couldn't help but laugh. Because I've watched this man work on every single one of those shots he made in that game. It was surreal and special for me, and I bet also for him to watch it manifest in one of the most important wins in the season for us. So far.

Coach Amiel, he's a straight shooter! In the couple of months we've worked together I've gotten to know him and truly enjoy playing for him and under his system. In the sports world, especially as an athlete in the player-coach dynamic, you want three things:

  • Trust.
  • Honesty.
  • Consistency.

Trust in the player you are, the way you can help the team and your decisions, and honesty surrounding what you need to hear and how you are treated. He's elite in both, and has been consistent in his dealings with us as a team. That puts you at ease as a player and allows you to focus on getting better and helping the team win.

I could go down the list. Zim... Hayden... Kuba... Truly this group of guys is special. I've enjoyed every single minute with them. And I have every intention of making great memories of this season and finishing strong with them!

It sure does remind me of playing for Belgium. In both teams our focus is truly the team's success. We understand that the power of our collective is built up out of individuals, but comes together in its strongest when we play together and compliment each other. From game to game, the way that manifests can change, some days it can be the 5 man day or other games maybe the 2 guard. But even when that happens there's a common understanding that we win together and lose together. And no matter what happens, we compete for each other.

Just like a pride of lions. I guess you can say that. It's poetic to a certain extent, to be having a special year with both logos and lions lining up. Who knows? I'll take all the good energy that comes with it.

Winning the Basketball Champions League with ERA Nymburk would mean the world to me. Not only me - I'm sure I speak for everyone in our organization and our fans back in Czech Republic. Personally, it would reaffirm my Vision over Sight lifestyle and mantra. If I were to have accepted the limits that were put on me over the years, I wouldn't be here writing this article and I wouldn't be here with ERA Nymburk gearing ready to play in the Quarter-Finals.

I believe all great things are achieved through relationships, you lock arms with people along the way, people that elevate you and you elevate them. And for that I'm truly grateful to everyone in the Nymburk organization, from Coach Amiel to my teammates and the support staff. They've allowed me to come in and lock arms with them and help to elevate one another in hopes to achieve something special.

This season is personal very much so, last year didn't go how I wanted it to. I can be transparent and honest about it, from the start I wanted this year to be different.

I wanted to show that I am a valuable asset to have on your team.

I wanted to play for championships.

I love this game.

I put my heart and soul in it.

And here, at Nymburk, I've been able to show that on the court. Night in, night out.

Vision Over Sight - VØS

Retin Obasohan