Following Festus Ezeli During March Madness

Posted March 14th, 2011 at 2:09 pm (UTC-4)
2 comments

One of the African players I’ll be following during the NCAA men’s college basketball championship tournament is Festus Ezeli, a 21-year-old center for Vanderbilt University who is from Benin City, Nigeria.  The muscular Ezeli was recently named the most improved player in men’s college basketball by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Ezeli’s rise to national basketball prominence has been rocky and certainly not forecast by his younger days in Benin City.  Festus never picked up a basketball in Nigeria and did not compete in organized athletics.  He learned the game after coming to the United States in 2004 to live with his uncle Emeka Ndulue, a pediatrician.

Ezeli once had aspirations to be a medical doctor, like his uncle, but the junior (third-year player) center has switched his major at Vanderbilt to economics – a field that should help him in contract negotiations if he makes it to the professional ranks in the National Basketball Association.

One of Ezeli’s teammates, guard Chris Meriwether, grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, where Vanderbilt University is located.  His advice to youngsters: “With hard work and a positive attitude, anything is possible.”  Meriwether says Ezeli’s hard work and positive attitude has helped Vanderbilt get seeded 5th in the Southwest region in “March Madness,” the nickname for the popular, single-elimination basketball tournament.

Festus Ezeli and Vanderbilt (23-10) play their opening game March 17th against Richmond (27-7) in Denver, Colorado.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

2 responses to “Following Festus Ezeli During March Madness”

  1. This is a story of hard work and determination.And i think hard work and positive attitude is a very necessary habit we all need.Festus story is a big challenge to me.And i wish him all the best.

  2. Sonny Young says:

    Hi Magnus! Thanks for checking in again from Imo State in Nigeria. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, “Humble Apostle!”

    Sporty regards,

    Sonny
    “… and that’s the SONNY SIDE OF SPORTS, Humble Apostle!”
    http://www.voanews.com/english/programs/radio/65650267.html

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

The Sonny Side of Sports is broadcast Monday through Friday at 1630 and 1830 UTC/GMT. And on Fridays at 1730 UTC/GMT, Sonny has an expanded 30-minute sports show.

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