Collected Wisdom: Thabo Sefolosha, Thunder guard
The Thunder's Thabo Sefolosha is the only Swiss player ever drafted into the NBA. He grew up learning moves while watching videos of NBA players.
The only Swiss player ever drafted into the NBA, Thabo Sefolosha is the son of mother Christine, a native of Switzerland, and father Patrick Sefolosha of South Africa. His mother is an artist. His father is an author-writer, who also plays saxophone and percussion. Though Sefolosha's parents divorced when he was 9, he still considers them a tremendous influence on his life.
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Thabo and his oldest brother, Kgomotso, grew to love basketball and played every day, learning moves while watching video tapes of NBA players. At age 16, Thabo was invited to join an elite under-20 team in France and at age 18 played in the France professional league. Four years later, he was selected No. 13 overall in the NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and was traded to the Chicago Bulls. On Feb. 19, 2009, he was traded to the Thunder.
The name Thabo translates to "one who brings joy."
Reaching the NBA Finals seems like it was a long time to get here, but at the same time, the season goes by really fast. Actually, it seems like a long road that I've traveled to get to this point, but in a short period of time.
It's an exciting time right now, but it's not overwhelming.
The people here are pretty nice. Lately, it's been a little bit more (intrusive). People are following the team so much that every time they see a player they want a picture or an autograph. But other than that, I really enjoy the people here.
The ovations seem to have gotten louder. I definitely appreciate that.
It's pretty tough being away from home for so long every season, especially with my relationships with friends and family. Being away for a long time like this, even though we can talk on the phone, being away from people for a very long time is kind of tough.
Playing in Turkey during the lockout last fall was tough, but mostly for the family. For me, playing basketball is always fun. In Switzerland, I couldn't practice and train the right way for an extended period of time. For the summer it's good, but after that everybody goes back to playing, so I had to find a way to stay in shape.
I live at my home (in Switzerland) about 2 1/2-3 months every year.
[Laughing] I haven't traveled everywhere, but there definitely are a lot of differences between Oklahoma and Switzerland.