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10 Questions with Men's Basketball Player Cedric Koffi

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Cedric Koffi scored 12 points in his Spartan debut against ETSU on Monday afternoon.

Cedric Koffi scored 12 points in his Spartan debut against ETSU on Monday afternoon.

Jan. 6, 2010

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After practicing and learning coach Eddie Payne's system for over a year and a half due to being ruled ineligible by the NCAA, senior guard Cedric Koffi finally got a chance to suit up and step on to the court.

In his first career start, the native of Paris, France, scored 12 points, complimented by three steals. Koffi was a big part of the Spartans rally, as ETSU's 15-point lead evaporated and the two teams were tied with less than a minute to go. However, the Spartans came up empty on their final two possessions and ETSU escaped with a one-point win.

Koffi and his teammates return to the court on Thursday afternoon at Belmont. Tip time between the Spartans and the Bruins is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. (CT). The Spartans will close out the Music City swing at Lipscomb on Saturday night at 6:15 p.m. (CT).

Koffi recently sat down with Alex Edwards of to discuss his first game in a Spartan uniform as well as plans for the future.

What it was like for you to finally suit up in a Spartan uniform and see action in a game?
It was really crazy. Stepping on to the court prior to the opening tip brought back a whole lot of memories. It's weird not being able to play for over a year. I didn't really think about it while I was sitting on the bench, but the action on the court is really fast paced and I had to get used to that again.

How do you feel the team can build on the success you guys had in the second half of Monday's game with ETSU as you fell just short in your comeback efforts against the defending A-Sun Champions?
We need to realize than what our record shows. We could have beaten ETSU yesterday and I wish we would have. As a team, we have to realize that if we fight until the end and give it our all then we really can compete with anyone in this league.

What was the deciding factor that brought you to Upstate from Sheridan College in Wyoming?
I had a couple of conversations with Coach Payne and Coach Smith, who was here last season. I always had a quality conversation with both of them and because of that I formed a bond with them. So the coaching staff was what brought me to Upstate.

This is your senior season, what are your plans after graduation?
At this time, I really don't know yet. My short term plan is to obviously graduate. But after that I may go back home to Paris or I may stay here in the United States.

Do you prefer watching college basketball or NBA? Why?
I definitely prefer college basketball, because in the NBA, until the playoffs start, it seems like everyone is just jogging up and down the court and occasionally giving their full effort. But in college basketball, teams are always trying to win and give it their all. Also it seems that fans get more excited during a college game compared to a professional game.

If you were able to spend the day with any athlete, who would you choose and why?
Michael Jordan, no doubt. I grew up looking up to him and I watched every video that was put out about him. I studied his moves and tried to use them during my career.

If your teammates were to use one adjective to describe you, what would they choose? Why?
They would probably choose goofy. They always joke around and say that I am a big kid.

When you are not on the court or in the classroom, what do you find yourself doing?
I enjoy watching movies and hanging out with my teammates. If I am not doing either of those, then I am probably taking a nap.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go? Why?
I don't really know why, but I have always wanted to travel to Egypt to see the pyramids.

What advice would you give to younger basketball players that desire to play collegiately?
If you don't work hard and strive to achieve that dream then you won't make it. Whether it is from an academic or athletic standpoint, there are going to be people to help you and open doors for you. However, it's up to you to put forth the effort required to achieve your dream.

USC Upstate Men's Basketball
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