Say Cheese! - Benson Akpan - JOW

by Ryan Peterson

Born in Austin, Benson Akpan didn't expect to play basketball at Stephen F. Austin.

"I moved to Nigeria when I was two," Akpan recalls.

In Africa, his first love was soccer.

"I was watching it (soccer) in the locker room," Akpan says with a smile.  "Before you called me."

And he can't get enough fufu.

"It's like mashed potatoes, but harder.  You dip it in soup."

So how does a fufu loving, soccer kicking Nigerian end up in Nacogdoches?

"I got tired of being kicked in the shin," Akpan says with a laugh.

There's a bit more too it than that.   Akpan moved back to the United States about three years ago to play college basketball.   The 26 year old was supposed to sign with Lafayette out of junior college.  The offer fell through.  Akpan is happy it did.  His next option, S.F.A., has worked out well.

"My teammates say I bring energy because I block shots a lot," Akpan says.

In his first year with the team, Akpan leads the Lumberjacks in blocks.  Still, he admits he has a lot to learn in basketball and American culture.

"I'm still learning some things about how American's want to live," Akpan says.  "I didn't grow up with cheese.  Cheese has been a major impact on life."

He still needs his fufu.

"You can find it in Dallas or Houston," he says.

Hungry on and off the court, Benson Akpan is your Jack of the Week.