ODESSA, Texas — Imagine leaving your family and home country to chase your life goals.

That's exactly what new UT Permian Basin big man, Dadou Traore, did three years ago.

Since then, he has received an education from Clarendon College and the University of Louisiana Monroe before arriving to Odessa.

Adjusting to American hoops took some time at first.

"Where I came from, we did not really play organized basketball, which is totally different from here," Traore said. "In high school and even junior high, you have to know plays. All this was new for me."

Regardless of the obstacles in his way, he was determined to learn and adapt.

"With the language barrier, it was a tough thing for me," Traore said. "Over the time, I overcame all those challenges."

As well as he was adjusting, Traore still missed his family - and of course - the home-cooked meals.

"It's very different from here," Traore said. "It's really spicy."

Besides the food, seeing other players' parents in the stands didn't make it any easier.

"During the game, you just hope that one time you can see your parents in the bleachers and watching you play," Traore said.

Even though they're not with him physically, Traore plans on passing down the lessons his parents taught him to his newborn baby girl.

"Being humble," Traore said. "Dedication in whatever path she will choose in her life. Education is guaranteed success in life."

Dadou plans on using that education to make an impact on and off the court at UTPB.