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Mad Ants moment with Oscar Tshiebwe

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The Indiana Mad Ants (formerly the Fort Wayne Mad Ants) season is officially underway at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Mad Ants are already boosting their fanbase with a new group of players competing in a new venue. One of those players is Oscar Tshiebwe.

A 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound forward, Tshiebwe Grew up in Lubumbashi, a bustling city situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tshiebwe’s early athletic experiences were centered around soccer. However, his above-average height soon caught the attention of those around him, leading him to explore the realm of basketball.

An Indiana Mad Ants basketball player talking to reporters after a game.
Indiana Mad Ants Oscar Tshiebwe sharing some insight with select reporters, including multi-media journalist Noral Parham III (Right) after the game against the Windy City Bulls on November 13, 2023. (Photo/David Dixon)

The son of a pastor, Oscar devoted himself to sharpening his skills and training by running on hills and a mountain near his hometown. A pivotal moment in his basketball journey came when he attended a basketball camp led by fellow Congolese basketball player Bismack Biyombo. Although, it was not until spring 2014 that Oscar truly welcomed basketball into his life, marking the true beginning of his remarkable journey.

Embarking on a new chapter in his life, Tshiebwe moved to the United States in November 2015. He enrolled at Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia. By his junior year, Tshiebwe was enrolled at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. His dedication and talent paid off, as he averaged 20 points per contest, leading his squad to a Class 1A championship.

Related: Motor City Cruise versus Tshiebwe, Indiana Mad Ants Photos

Senior year for Tshiebwe marked an even more extraordinary accomplishment: He spearheaded his team a remarkable 24-3 record and snagged the Class 6A championship. During the season, Tshiebwe averaged 23.4 points, 18 boards and five swats per contest. Tshiebwe also clinched the Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year and went on to play college basketball at West Virginia University.

An Indiana Mad Ants player, Oscar Tshiebwe, blocking a shot during a NBA G League basketball game.
Indiana Mad Ants big man Oscar Tshiebwe (44) blocks a shot from Porter (11) during their matchup on November 22, 2023 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo/Alexis Pitchford)

The phenomenal forward quickly made his mark in college hoops. His consistent performance was recognized again when he was named to the Second Team All-Big 12 and the All-Newcomer Team at the end of the regular season. The Mad Ants forward finished his freshman year averaging 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55% from the field.

Tshiebwe left his mark on the collegiate level, receiving a unanimous selection to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and an All-Big 12 Conference Second Team selection. The innovative big man all 32 games during his time at West Virginia. The Freshman was also named to the NABC District 8 First Team, while leading the Mountaineers in scoring and rebounding as a freshman.

Oscar Tshiebwe secured the National College Player of the Year Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award in 2022.

Currently, Oscar is signed to the Indiana Mad Ants of the NBA G League. Tshiebwe has been a bright spot for the Mad Ants this season. Tshiebwe is averaging an impressive 20.8 points and 19.8 rebounds this season.

Indiana Mad Ants player Oscar Tshiebwe during a basketball game.
Indiana Mad Ants forward Oscar Tshiebwe (44) preparing for a rebound during their game against the Motor City Cruise on November 22, 2023 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana(Photo/Alexis Pitchford)(Photo/Alexis Pitchford)

During their game against the Windy City Bulls on Nov. 13, Oscar was the focal point of the opposing team’s gameplan.

“[Oscar] is killing us,” Windy City Bulls head coach Henry Domercant said in the third quarter of the contest. Domercant then instructed his team to “take pride in the matchup” against Tshiebwe. Domercant’s efforts were well-founded. The Indiana Mad Ants forward almost broke the NBA G League record for rebounds in a game.

“I didn’t feel like I grabbed 23 (rebounds), when they told me at the end, I was surprised,” Tshiebwe said following game.

Since the interview, Tshiebwe has shattered the record for more rebounds in an NBA G League game with 28 boards.

The Mad Ants will take on the Windy City Bulls once again Nov. 28.

“I’m looking forward to dominating. I hate losing. As long as we are winning, everyone is smiling,” Tshiebwe said.


Contact multimedia staff writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more information courtesy of the Indianapolis Recorder, click here. You can also check out the Indiana Minority Business Magazine by clicking here.

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