Posted On: 06/15/18 1:09 PM

Every now and then you have a conversation with a 17-year old kid that plays the game that you love and cover and come out of the conversation at the age of 33 and feel less mature and focused in life.  It does not happen often these days, but every once in a blue moon a kid just floors you. That kid is Cactus Shadows and Blue Chip Nation Elite’s 6-foot, 185-pound point guard C.J Nnorom.

Nnorom has spent the spring slicing up the AAU scene.  He is built like a PAC-12 free safety, rather than a point guard, but his jump shots snaps nets like the true sharp shooting guard he is.  With a nice handle, good explosiveness and just enough athleticism to finish amongst the trees, he has made himself a player to watch in the state of Arizona.  Though he somewhat flies below the radar, that is starting to change this spring while playing in the same backcourt as a prospect with multiple Division-I offers in Perry High School’s Jalen Williams.  

C.J is much more than just an explosive sharp-shooter.  The kid plays hard! He plays defense with even more intensity than he does with the ball in his hands.  He grinds. He hustles. He gets into ballhandlers on the perimeter. And, for the most part, he does it silently.  He rebounds very well for a guard and can push the tempo, but plays with a high basketball IQ that allows him to be effective in the half court.

“High IQ” goes hand-in-hand with Nnorom.  He holds a 3.7 GPA. Before you just say, “oh, that’s nice,” please keep in mind that he maintains that grade point average while taking Honors Chinese, Math, Chemistry and AP Literature.  Yeah, C.J Nnorom is a little different.

The Nnorom’s are a family that is deeply rooted into education.  While big brother and sister did not possess the jump shot and athleticism that C.J does, they are every bit the intellectual.  Big brother is majoring in Chemical Engineering at Yale and big sister is working herself in the same field while getting her PhD at Rice University.  So, guess what C.J wants to major in when he gets to school? You got it, he wants to be a chemical engineer and grow in that field with his big brother and sister.

He does not just want to get a degree in his pre-determined major just anywhere.  C.J’s goal is to earn a basketball scholarship to a high-academic school such as John Hopkins or an Ivy League school.  He wants to play the game he loves, but he wants to use the game to set him up for the rest of his life. Now, do you see why I might have came out of this conversation less mature and questioning my focus in life?

Mom and Dad are originally from Nigeria.  His father came to the states when he was 19, then returned to Nigeria to bring back his mother.  After which, they birthed 2 boys and a girl. Dad works in real estate and mom works as a pharmacist while they do their best to set up their kids for success.  I would say they are doing a pretty good job thus far, to say the least.

So the next time you see Nnorom going on one of them 10 points in 2 minutes spurts and taking a charge on the defensive end, remember that you are likely watching a future chemical engineer that is going places in life.