Fofana scores a Signing


Teuana Smith, Sports Reporter

On Friday, upon clearance, Mike Fofana will be stepping on to the court for his first professional game with Esguerra in Aveiro, Portugal. Fofana is a Henderson graduate student who played for the basketball team for two years (2018-2020). He was a forward from Memphis, Tennessee coming in at 6’9. In his first year being in the program, he earned an honorable mention in the All-GAC section. During Fofana’s junior year he averaged 9.5 points per game and 7.7 rebounds. In his senior year, he totaled 306 points, averaging 9 pts per game with 212 offensive and defensive rebounds. On March 8, Fofana and his teammates won the 2019-20 GAC Championship against Oklahoma Baptist. 


While pursuing a degree in Business, Fofani joined One Motive Sports on July 3rd. One Motive Sport is a FIBA and NBA licensed sports agency based in Arkansas via their Instagram. He attended their 2nd annual exposure camp in June and displayed exceptional skill, talent, and passion. After a few months, his agent helped him sign a one year deal with Esguerra Oli in Portugal. The team was interested in him after seeing his stats and power on the court. 


“ I’m looking forward to just playing”, said Fofana. “We got our season cut short and didn’t get to our ultimate goal.” He will be competing in a Euro league called LPB with 14 other teams. 


“We just need someone with some fight, someone that wants to play hard, someone knows how to play the game of basketball.” “We have enough talent but if you don’t play hard it’s not going to go well together.”


Fofana has gone through quite a transition and lifestyle change from being in America to Portugal but he has a few things to give him comfort. He speaks to his family often to stay connected. He is slowly getting to know his teammates and the culture surrounding him. 


“The coach is cool“, said the athlete. “He reminds me of Coach E a little in how he plays me and how he sees me on the court. He lets me facilitate, create, and be involved.”


He says that the roads and regulations for driving and navigating around the city are very different from the U.S. being that they have little to none. He would rather have someone from the community drive him. There is little to none use of the English language when getting food but most of it is cheap. He usually asks advice from his teammates to find the best options but plans on learning the language. The basketball environment contrasts with Henderson because most players have an established lifestyle. 


“You’re kinda on your own”, said Fofana. “People are grown, people have kids, people have lives.” Mike Fofana keeps his motivation close and always in mind. He wears two wristbands stating “No Excuses” and “Leave a Legacy”. “When I’m done playing this game, I want to leave a legacy for my family, kids, and grandkids to look back on. “


Before his first game, you can catch Fofana listening to a playlist featuring Lil Baby, Future, and Drake to get in the right game setting mode. If interested in watching him play, there is an app called FPBTV that you can download to stream the game. If any players at Henderson would like to eventually play overseas, he suggests getting your passport NOW. 


“Listen to Coach E because he knows what he’s talking about,” said Fofana. “Coach E is a great coach and has helped me a lot through this process.” He will be graduating this fall. We wish Mike Fofana the best of luck on this new endeavor and a great season!