DARIEN, Conn. -- Greens Farms Academy's basketball pipeline reached a new destination Tuesday. Sunday Okeke, a 6-foot, 8-inch senior at GFA in Westport, announced he will play in college at Wake Forest.
Okeke, a native of Nigeria, becomes the latest in a long list of players from Doug Scott’s boys varsity program to head to a collegiate program. At Wake, Okeke will play in the highly-regarded Atlantic Coast Conference along with former GFA star Sean Obi, currently a junior at Duke University.
“You watch him move for five seconds and you can tell he’s a great athlete,’’ Scott said of Okeke, who lives with Michele and Michael Litts and their family in Darien. “He’s big and long, but he’s also a spectacular athlete.”
Okeke averaged 13.9 points and 14.9 rebounds per game last year, helping the Dragons to a 14-11 record. GFA reached the Fairchester Athletic Association and New England Tournament Tournament semifinals before losing to St. Luke’s in both contests.
Okeke played soccer growing up in Nigeria. “He was in a youth sports program when someone standing on the sideline told him he should consider basketball,’’ Scott said. “He said, ‘I don’t have any basketball shoes.’’’
When Scott saw film of the young, raw basketball talent on the internet he helped bring him to school at Greens Farms Academy. Okeke has lived with the Litts, whose daughters attend GFA, while attending school.
“He’s a spectacular athlete,’’ Scott said. “He’s also an all-league soccer player. When a 14-year-old kid who wants to go half way around the world to get a better education, you know he’s committed to being great. One of his biggest challenges coming here was the academics. He’s become an honor roll student. He has a terrific work ethic.”
Scott said Okeke has overcome Injuries and inexperience. Early in his career, he was saddled with foul trouble late in a tight game. Scott explained to him to be cautious of picking up a disqualifying fifth foul. “He stood there like a statue,’’ Scott said. “He had no sense of the right thing to do.”
Since his early days, Okeke’s basketball skills have blossomed. He plays the low post for the Dragons, but figures to play the wing in college. “He’s become a student of the game,’’ Scott said. “He has a nice outside shot and an ability to score from the wing.”
Since Scott took over in 2010, 13 players have gone on to college programs, including three from last year’s team. Evan Roteman, Okeke’s classmate at GFA, will play at Rhodes College in Tennessee next year.
“Sunday has the physical ability and he works hard,’’ Scott said. “When you do that, good things happen. The fact that he has done it is special. A lot of kids are cursed with talent and coast on that God given gift, because they can. He has the talent, but it sure hasn’t been any curse. He has worked his butt off to be great."
GFA and St. Luke’s, from New Canaan, renew acquaintances on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in the Dragons’ home opener.