Joseph Uchebo: The Story Behind the Story

Posted by Andy Durham on June 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm under College, High School | Comments are off for this article

Joseph Uchebo played basketball at Oak Ridge last season and this young man has had quite an odyssey, since he came to this country, to play the sport of basketball….

We hope Joseph is able to enjoy his senior year at Word of God in Raleigh, and Joseph has been at so many places over the past couple of years, that I had to go back and change this year’s upcoming stop….Mount Zion, Victory Christian, Word of God, Oak Ridge Military Academy and now Word of God, and again, we hope the senior year for Joseph is smooth and that his transtition to N.C. State in the fall of 2011 will be a breeze……This kid deserves a good high school finish, after all he has been through, over the past few seasons…..

from The Packinsider and Go Here to read all….

Growing up in southeastern Nigeria, the 6’10 Joseph Uchebo had rarely even picked up a basketball, let alone played in an organized game. Now, two continents, three years and now four schools later, it is the game of basketball that he hopes will shape his future.

A member of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria (one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in the country) basketball was only an afterthought to Uchebo. Instead, he excelled on the soccer field thanks to a brother who, today, plays professionally in Germany. It wasn’t until someone noticed his enormous frame and his quick footwork did they encourage him to attend a basketball camp put on by Ejike Ugboaja. Ugboaja is a Nigerian native who was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2nd round of the 2006 NBA draft. Although he never competed in an NBA game, he has continued to play overseas and has dedicated a great deal of time to teaching Nigerians the game of basketball. At the camp, Joseph showed off his natural athletic ability, excelling with more skill and more size than many of the other participants. He was so good, in fact, that he his family was approached about giving him an opportunity to use basketball for a free education in the United States. The Uchebos agreed and decided to send Joseph with a man named Linzy Davis (coach of Georgia Elite), who had figured out the legal process and had experience bringing Nigerian players back to compete in the States. After completing the proper paperwork, Joseph was off to the US where Davis had him enrolled at the Durham, NC based Mount Zion Christian Academy.

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