Houston, Texas forward Steve Tchiengang talks about his journey to America from Cameroon and his…
Tchiengang Thriving in Lone Star State
Steve Tchiengang is appreciative and has taken advantage of his opportunity. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound Cameroon native, who arrived in Houston from his native Cameroon a more than two years ago, has wasted little time. ``It was hard leaving my family and trying to learn a new culture," the Cypress Christian (Texas) junior forward said. "It was different." But Tchiengang has excelled both on and off the court. ``I feel like my work ethic stands out," Tchiengang said. "I'm full of desire to be the best with hard work. That's what I've been doing. I never stop working. When I'm not playing, I'm working out. I'm always trying to improve. I just feel like I have a passion and desire to improve." ``I don't take anything for granted," he added. Tchiengang is averaging 15 points, 11 boards, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks this season – a year in which is took some getting used to playing without former teammate, 7-foot-3 UConn freshman Hasheem Thabeet. Tchiengang is versatile enough to score in the post with his intensity and aggressiveness - and also skilled enough to play on the perimeter and drain 3-pointers. ``Practice is a lot different this year without Hasheem and some of our other seniors who left," Tchiengang said. "We had a lot of Division 1 players and practice was tough. That was when I improved a lot – in practice." ``I don't have as much competition in practice now," he added. But that doesn't mean that Tchiengang takes it easy. His team, which also included Boston College-bound point guard Biko Paris, finished the regular-season 29-6 overall and 8-0 in TAPPS 4A. Tchiengang, who plans to play with the T-Mac All-Stars this spring and summer, said he is wide open in his recruitment and plans to hold off making a decision until after July so he can focus on playing well on the AAU circuit. ``I don't want to think about it now," he said. However, Tchiengang did say that the following schools have offered him a scholarship already: Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Auburn, Iowa State, Louisville, Florida, Memphis, BC and Indiana. ``I want to go somewhere that I can play right away," said Tchiengang, sounding more like most of the kids who grew up in this country. "But I know it's not given. I have to earn it and I'm willing to put the work in." ``I also want to go somewhere that can push me and help me realize my potential," he added. "I want to make my dream come true. I want to be successful to I can make a difference for my family. That's my goal."
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