Okaro White: «Loko is a very promising team»

The club's press service took the first interview with the newcomer of "Loko" right during the match with "Pari NN". The American forward not only told a lot of interesting things about himself, but also demonstrated a deep understanding of basketball.
Okaro, it's not your first time in Krasnodar, right?
– Oh, yeah. In the 2020/21 season, I played for UNICS and came here with the team several times. We played against each other probably ten times that year. But these were such tight matches that it seems that a hundred matches were played. It was a great confrontation – both Kazan and Krasnodar had very strong teams that year.
A week ago, Loko defeated UNICS. Have you seen this match?
– An incredible game! After all, Kazan played quite at its high level, but Loko simply destroyed them! I hope we will maintain this momentum and continue to win.
Your mom is an elite track and field sprinter, won many medals as part of the Jamaican relay team. How fast can you run?
– When I was at school, I ran very fast. My sister and I even did sprint running. But one summer I grew seven inches at once (17.5 cm – note of the club press service) and became a little slower. But I think, compared to most basketball players, I'm still moving around the court very fast.
It turns out that if you hadn't grown up dramatically, you would have become a sprinter athlete?
– No, I would become an American football player. I've always really liked playing sports. And at some point, I ran away from the athletics section to the football section. And everything was fine there until that very summer, when I suddenly soared in height. For American football, I began to lack power, at every training session I began to get a lot of strong blows – and decided to go where growth matters – to basketball.
Is the Krasnodar "Basket Hall" very similar to the Kazan one?
– The one-in-one layout is the same. But, of course, the interior is different. And the main difference of Krasnodar is the mild weather.
But there's a blizzard outside.
– I'm sure it's even colder in Kazan now.
You played for the Miami Heat under one of the best coaches of our time, Erik Spoelstra. How did you play under his guidance?
– Delicious. By the way, we continue to communicate. I was at the Miami match a week ago, and Eric wished me good luck in Russia. The entire Miami Heat organization is like one big family, and I still feel like a part of it.
There are also Locos in Krasnodar.
– I know, I know. I hope the Krasnodar fans will accept me well, and we will have a great relationship. For my part, I promise to give my best.
You've played in Europe and in the NBA. Can you compare basketball on both sides of the ocean?
– In Europe, basketball is a truly team sport. And in the NBA, it relies more and more on the individual qualities of players. Personally, I get more pleasure from participating in complex team interactions. A few seasons in Europe have been a great school for me. And I am happy to come here again.

We continued the conversation with Okaro White during the big break of the match with Paris NN. Lokomotiv-Kuban was one point behind in the score at that time (40:41).

What are your feelings from the first half?
– It's a little unusual to watch the match from the spectator seat. This is the first time I see Loco live in the current lineup, I try to notice who is doing what on the court, who has what strengths. I think we have a very promising team. In general, the match is going well so far. We're losing just a little bit. I am sure that the second half will turn out much better for us – we just need to add to the aggression. We could have led by halftime, but we didn't score some easy shots.
What can be done against the rapid movement of the ball at Pari NN?
– Surely the coaching staff has the right opinion on this. And in my opinion, we are too overprotective in defense. I would suggest not to double up on the opponent's player, but to defend more tightly one-on-one. Because as soon as the second caretaker player is thrown at the player with the ball, they instantly take out the free on a three-point throw.
What do you need to add "Loco" to win?
– I think we need to act more aggressively in attack. It seems to me that Nizhny Novgorod does not have enough dimensions to defend themselves individually against the Loko players. Every time one of our guys boldly goes to the ring, the opponent fouls. It is necessary to use it.

The denouement of the match turned out to be shocking – “Pari NN” won (80:82) with a throw at the same time as the final siren. Okaro White also looked discouraged.

– Wow. I haven’t seen anything like this for a long time! I can imagine what it’s like for the guys right now. I hope this defeat won’t unsettle them. I want to join the team as soon as possible in order to give Loko everything I am capable of. I believe that very soon we will start winning again.

Share with Friends: