Posted On: 03/21/18 8:17 PM
The Evolution of Onyeka Okongwu
CHINO HILLS, CA— As Chino Hills prepares to bag another CIF State Championship, there have been many superlatives that have led to this possible achievement.
First, the Huskies are playing at a much more efficient pace as compared to seasons past under the “Ball-era” or if you prefer, under the pace set up by Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo.
In addition, Head Coach Dennis Latimore has received outstanding contributions from seniors Ofure Ojadughele as well as arguably the most improved player in So-Cal, that being Andre Ball.
However, the catalyst for the Huskies championship run has been the result of the scintillating play of 6-foot-9 junior Onyeka Okongwu.
During the Ball-era, Okongwu was relegated to being a rim-protector, rebounder, and occasional jump shooter. But the circumstances have changed this season with Okongwu being the focal point in the Huskies’ offense.
Okongwu is still swatting shots and corralling rebounds at a dominating rate, but it’s his overall offensive game that has seen the most growth—both from a physical as well as a mental standpoint.
This season, Okongwu has shown dazzling footwork, improved fundamentals, and he is finishing with either hand through contact. Not too mention his court demeanor has been stoic despite seeing constant double and triple-teams—as was the case against St. John Bosco in the Southern Regional Division 1 championship.
“Even when I couldn’t get the ball and score (against the zone), I wanted to try to dominate the game blocking shots and rebounding,” said Okongwu.
This noticeable maturity as well his physical dominance has drawn interest from Kansas, UCLA, USC, Washington, and Arizona State.
College will have to wait for now as Okongwu has his eyes set on another championship—one of which he’ll be the focal point this time and the results should be no different.