"It's All About The Game"

Nigerian Big Man Starting to Turn Heads






Ron Bailey, Publisher



December 23, 2007 – The Washington, D.C./Baltimore, MD area has been a destination for talented players from Nigeria for a number of years now. Just look at Uche Echefu (Florida State), Churchill Odia (Oregon), and Lawrence Nwevo (Lamar), for proof.

Increasingly, another Nigerian, Bishop McNamara’s junior center Talib Zanna, is starting to turn heads in the D.C./Baltimore area, as he did during National High School Hoops Festival action, helping lead his team to a 63-57 win over Laurel (MD). During the course of a game MVP-garnering performance, Talib supplied 21 points and 10 boards, much of which was notched around the rim, where he was dominant. Second team, All-Festival honors were resultantly earned.

That point, playing strong around the cup, is proof-positive of Zanna’s improvement curve: The 6’8”+, 215 lb student athlete has long displayed the ability to fill lanes with speed and operate both on the perimeter, where he displays his shooting touch, and in the high post area, leading to attacking defenders out of the face up position.

Zanna will earn many more trips to the charity stripe with more physical play on a constant basis.

“I have to get better with my back to the basket” said the soft-spoken Zanna, when asked to share his weak points after Festival play. “I also have to improve my ball handling”.

Zanna’s coach at McNamara, Marty Keithline, agrees, and added Talib must play physically on a consistent basis, as rebounding and scoring despite contact also must be improved upon. Nevertheless, Keithline thinks highly of Talib’s growth, saying “He’s really come a long way”.

Colleges have taken notice, as Zanna indicated “Boston College, Virginia, Va Tech, George Washington, Kansas State” and Georgetown have all shown various levels of interest, while Delaware has taken it a step further, and tendered an offer.

Talib Zanna receiving Festival game MVP honors, from organizer Keith Stevens earlier this month.

Keithline added to that list “Notre Dame, St. John’s, Rutgers, UConn, all the A-10 (Atlantic 10), all the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association)” and ACC schools, not named “Duke or Carolina”.

That’s a wide range of interest for a young man who only played eight games last year – the first and last four contests of the season – indicating many feel Zanna’s growth potential is formidable.

Check back with i95Ballerz.com for more Zanna updates; he’s on the verge of becoming a household name.



2007 i95Ballerz.com. This website is a supplier of information unaffiliated with any high school, AAU college, university, or professional team. All Rights Reserved