Sept. 21, 2009
Senior Bright Dike (last name pronounced DEE-kay) is making a major impact with the Notre Dame men’s soccer team early in the 2009 campaign. The forward from Edmond, Okla., leads the 3-3-1 Irish with five goals and 11 points so far this season. Dike has seen action in 70 career games, scoring 21 goals and 51 points for the Irish. Dike sat down with UND.com to tell us a little more about himself.
1. Premier League or MLS? Why?
Premier League, better players, better soccer. Everybody knows it is one of the best leagues in the world.
2. Do you model your play after any particular player? If so, Who?
Thierry Henry, he is my favorite player and I try to learn from anything that he does on the field.
3. What are/were your favorite pair of cleats?
Nike Total 90’s- I could wear those barefoot and not get blisters; they are definitely my favorite by far.
4. Who and/or what inspired you to begin playing soccer?
I have liked soccer since I was a little kid. My family (parents and grandparents) is from Nigeria and soccer is huge there. I have always taken a liking to it, dating back to when I was in Kindergarten and played during recess.
5. Do you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions?
I kiss the playing field right before kickoff.
6. Is there any significance to your jersey number (#9)? What is it?
I have always worn #9, #14, or #19. #9 is generally worn by a great forward, that is the essence of #9. If you wear #9, you are generally the forward everyone is looking up to.
7. As an engineering major, what is your intended career path once your soccer career is complete?
I graduated with a degree in Information Technology. I would like to work with one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. I interned with KPMG, so maybe something along those lines.
8. The best thing about playing soccer for Notre Dame is…
Winning. Playing soccer with other people who like to play soccer and the excitement of possibly getting to the next level of soccer beyond college. Everybody getting into the NCAA Tournament and fighting for the National Championship.
9. The hardest thing about playing soccer for Notre Dame is…
Fitness, for sure.
10. If you were asked to spend a day teaching the game of soccer to anyone, who would be your choice? Why?
My little brother. He is 9 and he loves soccer.
11. If you couldn’t play soccer, what sport would you most like to play? Why?
Football or basketball. My parents would never let me play football so that was disappointing, they said I could be a kicker, but I didn’t want to be one.
12. What is the greatest place/nicest stadium that you have ever played in?
Disney Wide World of Sports (in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.), my team won a national championship there when I was really young in 1999. They have had Women’s World Cup qualifying there in the past.
13. Who is the funniest person on the team?
Chris Cahill (ND ’08), our former goalkeeper. He is the funniest person I have met in my entire life.
14. Who is the best player you have every competed against?
We played (Alecko) Eskandarian in Florida, that was an amazing experience. He has played in the MLS. We played the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC, and he was with Toronto when we played them.
15. If a movie was made about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
“Goal 4 – The Fourth Goal”; I don’t know who would play me.
16. What does playing soccer for Notre Dame mean to you?
It means a lot to me. This is a good place for soccer but academics as well. My dream and my goal is to play soccer at the next level and I think this is the best place to do that and grow as a person.
17. Describe your ideal day — where would you be and who would you spend it with?
It has to involve soccer and family. When I think of soccer, I one of the best places is Brazil. So I would be in Brazil with my family playing soccer.
18. What is your favorite quote from (Head) Coach (Bobby) Clark?
When I was a freshman, he was making fun of me because my fitness was really bad. He said, “C’mon, you are a letting a big goalie beat you (in the runs).”
19. What do you miss most about home (Edmond, Oklahoma)?
Family. I only see them every six months. Definitely family.
20. What did it feel like to have the first hat trick in the new Alumni Stadium?
That was amazing. I enjoyed playing in the new stadium and to have it prepared for this season. To open up and be fortunate like that, it was a good feeling. Right now, I need to forget about that focus on the rest of the season because I haven’t scored since. I have work to do, that is for sure.
21. How do you unwind after a game?
Lie down, watch a movie, and maybe even sleep.
22. What is your favorite activity during your free time?
I like to play the Xbox. I know it is a stereotype, but I like to play FIFA.
23. How do you define “success”?
Setting realistic goals and coming close to those goals, both academically and on the soccer field. Success is reaching these realistic goals and learning from your mistakes.
24. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
That is hard to say. I would be 32. I would love to be playing soccer at 32. If not, I guess I would hope to be doing some information technology work.
25. What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
My dad would always say “prevention is better than cure” and he used that for anything. He would use it in reference to playing it safe on the field to avoid injury and in academics, getting bad grades in the beginning and trying to make-up for them later on. Greg Dalby, our captain three years ago, said “Don’t try to emulate other players and their abilities — be your own player.”
— ND —