Noi’s story is unbelievable. We can all be grateful that he found his way to the Horned Frogs.
Not long after the family left its home, they’d leave the country, too. And that’s why, if you ask him, Noi will say he’s from Australia -- where he and his extended family fled -- even though he considers himself South Sudanese.
Noi’s father, Ater Dhiu, had the same goal as many among Australia’s considerable South Sudanese population, the majority of which arrived during the tail end of the war.
”A better life,” Noi recalls from Fort Worth, Texas, where the sophomore forward leads TCU in 3-pointers made (49) and is second in scoring average (14.8 points per game).
Noi’s Horned Frogs are 17-7 (5-6 in the Big 12), on pace for their third consecutive 20-win season and looking for their first NCAA tournament victory since 1987, when head coach Jamie Dixon was a player with the squad.
Losing Sloan and Smith hurts, but there is still enough talent on the staff to take this team far. If they don’t lose anybody else.
“We need to stay healthy, especially on the mound,” coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “We can ill afford to lose another one to be honest with you. We can recover from it, but it’s definitely testing our depth.”
The depth will be put to the test this weekend as TCU opens its season in the MLB4 Tournamentin Scottsdale, Arizona. The Frogs open the season against No. 18 Cal State Fullerton on Friday, and then face Virginia on Saturday and top-ranked Vanderbilt on Sunday.
They’ll make their home debut next Tuesday against Abilene Christian at Lupton Stadium.
But the MLB4 field is one of the most loaded for college baseball’s opening weekend.
“These are four teams that could easily be one whole side of a bracket in the College World Series,” Schlossnagle said. “We’re not going to make too much of it one way or the other.