Alief Taylor’s Ebuka Okafor readies to throw the shot put
18 March 2023: Alief Taylor’s Ebuka Okafor readies to throw the shot put during the TSU Relays (Credit: Jimmie Aggison/Houston Defender) Credit: Jimmie Aggison/Houston Defender

When Ebuka Okafor isn’t on the football field protecting his quarterback, you can find him in the sand pits throwing the shot put.

While most football players use track for off season conditioning, Okafor found motivation after seeing his brother play a new sport.

“My older brother threw shot put, and I watched him,” Okafor said.

Okafor’s first-ever track season began spring 2022. He was placed on the JV team and took third in district. With limited training, he credits his mental skills for the early success.

“You have to have a good mindset. It’s not all about winning. Some days you are going to lose and some days you are going to win. It’s about how you get back up,” Okafor said.

Okafor currently bench presses 315 pounds but understands in order to be more effective in throwing the shot put, he will have to gain more upper body strength.

“I do pushups on a daily. Twenty before school and 20 more before practice. After that, I work on my power clean. This all helps with improving my bench press,” Okafor said.

This season, Okafor’s personal best in the shot put is 45-feet, but he understands he has work to do if he wants to achieve his goal.

“I want to be number one in my district and make it to the state meet in Austin,” Okafor said.

Although Okafor received interest from Western Michigan and Coastal Carolina, next year he will be attending Texas Southern University on a football scholarship with plans to major in business administration.

“TSU was the perfect program. They came to my games, met my parents. I felt a bond with them,” Okafor said.

Okafor is proof that hard work pays off. Not only does he plan to play football at TSU, but he would like to continue throwing shot put, as well. When asked about advice for the next generation of athletes, Okafor echoed the need for hard work.

“Put in the work. It doesn’t come for free. I had to work hard every day,” Okafor said.

About Ebuka Okafor

Class: 2023

Twitter: @Ebukaok9for

IG: @laylow.patrick

Field event: Shot put

Height & weight: 6-feet-6, 310 pounds

Hobbies: Cooking

Status: Committed to TSU

Favorite subject: English

Favorite artists: Polo G, Lil TJ, Rod Wave

Shout-outs: JJ Bryson, Aaron and my four by fours

I’m originally from Kansas. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in communication studies. Shortly after moving to Houston in 2007, I began doing photography. I covered cy fair sports...