Monday, August 24, 2015

Okoene proves what can be done as she commits

HOUSTON, Texas-In the day and age of where there’s so much “attempting to manipulate the system” “name dropping” and “simply unappreciative people”, it’s always good to see talent stand out over everything else. Alyssa Okoene fits that bill and I guess the lyrics for her and her talented Houston Lady Phenoms from “Started from the Bottom” would have to apply because she’s definitely “there” as she just committed to North Carolina, more on Phenoms tomorrow

Okoene has always been appreciative and I could see something in her right from the top, even though she was raw, she was long, athletic, wouldn’t quit on you nor back down. I didn’t major chemistry but that formula combined with her being 6’3 told me she was national player in the making and the North Shore product simply has come a long way but the journey is nowhere complete because as scary as it sounds, she’s going to be a better college player, archive that!!!

I asked head coach Derrick “DJ” Johnson his thoughts on what she has accomplished from that initial practice a little over a year ago and he said “Alyssa is the BLUEPRINT of hard work and dedication. From not being able to catch a ball 16 months ago to all of this is simply amazing” He also added “I’m so proud of her, I’ve never had a player work the way she does EVERYDAY and I knew wherever she wound up in college, she wouldn’t disappoint”

I’ve had several great conversations with O and her intelligence and the ability to articulate have been more impressive than watching her grab a rebound on one end, outrun everyone and finish on the other as well as becoming a mid to long range shooter, so I knew I would get something great when I asked her why the University of North Carolina and Okoene said

“Coming to North Carolina, I had so many questions after doing some research on the school. From the time I met the staff in the airport to the time Coach Tracey dropped me and my mom off, they felt like my family. UNC began recruiting me just this month, which is why the chemistry is unbelievable. The players are like my sisters already, we really enjoy each other. The whole program is like a family and they have so much support. The players spoke fondly of their coaching staff, assuring me that they're honest and will definitely take care of me. Another reason I chose UNC is because there is opportunity to play/start as a freshman. The whole visit was amazing and this decision feels so right. Basketball is not life at UNC. Education, discipline, family, God, and ball are life.”