Ezeigbo overcomes challenges to lead Herd women’s basketball

LaChel House, Reporter

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Chukwuka Ezeigbo has faced a few obstacles since she has been at Marshall University, but she overcame each challenge, becoming the face of the Herd women’s basketball team.

Ezeigbo, senior center from Trenton, New Jersey, arrived in Huntington in 2011. When she arrived, she found herself in cultural shock.

“I am used to being in the city, which is fast-paced and busy,” Ezeigbo said. “Here in West Virginia, everything is calm, so it was definitely something I had to get accustomed to.”

Ezeigbo went on to say that it wasn’t too bad adjusting to the West Virginian way of living. As a matter of fact, she has grown to like it.

After 11 seasons at Marshall, Royce Chadwick resigned as head coach of the Herd women’s basketball team. Once Matt Daniel took over in 2012, Ezeigbo, who was recruited by Chadwick, was faced with another challenge of adjustment.

“I came here my freshman year under Chadwick, so I had to get adjusted to Daniel’s style of play,” Ezeigbo said. “It was challenging at first, but I got used to it and became accustomed to how we play.”

Ezeigbo’s most difficult obstacle occurred last season after her father, Ambrose Ezeigbo, died from stomach and colon cancer at the age of 56.

“It was hard adjusting to the differences, especially being away from home where my family needed me,” Ezeigbo said. “I just had to remember to stay strong mentally.”

Ezeigbo flew to Nigeria for 18 days and was forced to miss four games in the middle of the season after her father’s death. Once Ezeigbo returned to Marshall, she took the court by storm. Last season she contributed to 40 blocks, and was the team’s leading offensive rebounder with 3.5 boards per game. Ezeigbo’s efforts also led her to become the No. 5 all-time leading blocker in a season at Marshall.

The star-center also takes care of business in the classroom. Ezeigbo is majoring in biology with a concentration in pre-med. Out of her three seasons at Marshall thus far, she has made the Conference USA Honor Roll twice.

“In five to 10 years, I see myself in medical school,” Ezeigbo said. “I want to be a general medicine pediatrician, so that is what I am working towards right now.”

Out of the four seniors on the women’s basketball team this season, Ezeigbo is the only one who has been at Marshall all four years. Head coach Daniel said her ambitious attitude will allow her to do well after graduation.

“I did not recruit Chukwuka, but I am glad she is here,” Daniel said. “She is a strong, ambitious young woman, and I think she will do great things in her community wherever she decides to go.”

Daniel also said he is not looking forward to Ezeigbo’s departure and he misses her already.

Ezeigbo’s main focus going in to her last season is allowing her teammates to view her as a go-to person on the court.

“I would love for my teammates to see me as a leader on the court,” Ezeigbo said. “I want to be someone that can be dependable when the team needs a lift.”

LaChel House can be contacted at [email protected]

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