From Cameroon to CPP, Tchoyi overcomes hardships

By Nicole Housh

Most people in the Cal Poly Pomona community know Franc_Ù__is Tchoyi as a member of the men’s basketball team.

However, many don’t know his incredible life journey.

Tchoyi, a 22-year-old fourth-year history student, grew up in the Republic of Cameroon, a country located in Central Africa.

Tchoyi decided to make the 8,118 mile journey from Cameroon to the United States of America to pursue his passion for basketball.

To put that into perspective, there’s only 3,216 miles between Los Angeles and the state of Maine.

The Broncos’ power forward has been playing basketball for eight years, but also enjoyed playing soccer growing up.

“[Growing up], it did not necessarily make it harder,” said Tchoyi on growing up in Cameroon and pursuing basketball.

“But the transferring of skills was hard, because I didn’t learn much structure before.”

When asked about his childhood in Cameroon, Tchoyi reminisced about the food and his family.

“I went home last summer, the second time since I moved here,” said Tchoyi.

Tchoyi began his high school career in Ojai, where he played at Besant Hill High School.

During his senior year, he averaged 21.8 points and 14.2 rebounds per game.

Thos stats earned Tchoyi All-Ventura County and Condor League Most Valuable Player honors.

He did all of this while earning a 3.5 GPA.

Since arriving at Cal Poly Pomona, Tchoyi has become more focused on the present than the future. He currently averages 11.3 minutes and three points per game.

His best season as a Bronco came in the 2013-14 season, where he had a 68.4 shooting percentage.

“I’m just trying to focus and improve my skills to see what is next for me,” said Tchoyi.

Head basketball coach Greg Kamansky spoke on the early struggles for Tchoyi when he arrived at CPP.

“Franc_Ù__is struggled with language barrier and academic demands when he first started,” said Kamansky.

“But he’s a smart and hardworking kid, and eventually overcame it all.”

There were struggles in trying to come to California as well.

When Tchoyi was planning to leave, it took him awhile to persuade his parents, who were worried about him being alone halfway across the world.

“At first it was just me trying to convince them,” said Tchoyi.

“My parents had a lot of concerns about me being here by myself.

“It took a while to convince them to agree, but they eventually came around.”

Living thousands of miles away from all your friends and family you’ve spent your entire life with is difficult, but Tchoyi said that he has made many close friends here at Cal Poly Pomona, especially his fellow teammates.

“Being a part of team is like having a second family.”


Jairo Pineda / The Poly Post


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