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
Field event: Shot put
Height & weight: 6-feet-6, 310 pounds
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