MARIANNA, FL (WJHG/WECP) Now to basketball and why the folks at Chipola are rather happy in regards to one of their foreign born players.
Nana Sule is headed back to the states, back from her native Nigeria where she spent the last few weeks, trying to resolve her student visa issue.
Due to a backlog it was feared Sule might be helped up several weeks in Nigeria, but that issue got solved and the sophomore, who's averaging 7 points, 7 rebounds a game is coming back to finish up at Chipola.
"We're very much looking forward to having her back, in terms of having a leader back." Chipola coach Greg Franklin told us Thursday. "But also for Nana having the opportunity to go back to school and progress, in terms of being a student-athlete for next year."
Nana's missed four games, including Tuesday's conference opening loss at Tallahassee. She could be back at practice Monday, and could be good for Wednesday's game at Pensacola.
As for helping to clear the bureaucratic red tape and getting her back to Northwest Florida, well coach Franklin says that was a team effort!
"There was a lot of work done by a lot of people. Coach Johnson, our Athletic Director put a lot of calls into senators, and representatives, and things like that. Keith Williams, a local State Farm agent here, put a lot of calls in to a lot of different folks and I think it expedited the process a little bit. And thank God they did, to give her an opportunity for another breath of life over in the U.S."
And to say the least, Sule was thrilled this was coming to an end, as evidenced by the call coach Franklin got from her in Nigeria a few days ago.
"Oh yeah she's excited. The morning that she got it, she was crying on the phone. I said 'you didn't get it again, she said no I got it!' So it was an exciting time, it was like 6:30 in the morning, and I was excited for her. Oh they're very excited (her teammates), they missed her deeply. Just as well as a player on the court, our leading rebounder, a double-double kid. And she's a leader, kind of the glue to everything here. She had such great character, she leads by example."
Nana will miss a 5th game Saturday when Chipola hosts Northwest, but should practice by Monday and may be good for the game at Pensacola Wednesday.
Chipola is tied with Pensacola at 0-1 in conference play, Gulf Coast is 2-0, Northwest Florida and Tallahassee are tied at 1-1.