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Getting to know Chuma Okeke
On the court, freshman Chuma Okeke is averaging 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. <i>Photo: Dakota Sumpter/Auburn Athletics</i>
On the court, freshman Chuma Okeke is averaging 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season. Photo: Dakota Sumpter/Auburn Athletics
Feb. 7, 2018

By Greg Ostendorf

AUBURN, Ala. -- You've probably seen Chuma Okeke on the court this season. He's the silky smooth freshman who can finish at the rim or step back and knock down the long jumper. The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 7.9 points off the bench and has scored in double figures in three of Auburn's last four games and 12 total this season.

But did you know that Okeke is the funniest player on the team? Or that he's a big fan of watching movies on Netflix? The former four-star recruit took a few minutes this week to discuss everything from movies to basketball to how he got his name.

Okeke and his Auburn teammates will host Texas A&M on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.

What's your favorite food?

Okeke: Philly cheesesteak

What's playing on your headphones right now?

Okeke: Young Gunner or NBA YoungBoy

Are you a video game guy?

Okeke: Not really, but when I do play, I just play 2K and Madden.

What do you do when you're not playing basketball?

Okeke: I'll just be watching movies. I find different movies to watch.

What's your favorite movie?

Okeke: Gridiron Gang

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Okeke: Hawaii

Who's your favorite NBA player?

Okeke: Lebron James. I just like his game, and I grew up watching him.

What's the best basketball moment in your career?

Okeke: My junior year when we won the state championship. It was amazing. We actually beat Jared's (Harper) team in the finals.

Who is Chuma Okeke?

Okeke: I'm cool. I'm laid-back. I really don't show my emotions, but I'm always aware of my surroundings. I'm just a cool person, easy to get along with. Funny at times and goofy sometimes, too. That's really it.

Describe your game on the court.

Okeke: I'm an unselfish player. I like to get my teammates involved when I get a chance to, and I just like to see everybody on the team happy.

Is there a player you model your game after?

Okeke: No. Sometimes I watch different highlights of different players, and I like to pick out certain points from each position. The point guard, I'll pick out something -- like how they dribble the ball. I look at everybody.

What's been the hardest adjustment going from high school to college?

Okeke: You're always busy in college. With going to school, then you've got mentoring, then tutoring, then practice and then weights -- you're always busy. In high school, I had a lot of time on my hands. But in college, you're always busy. You're always on the move.

What is it about this Auburn team? How are you guys playing so well?

Okeke: We're just playing with a chip on our shoulders. Ever since the beginning of the season, I feel like everybody on this team bought in to the coaching staff and what they were trying to do. And once you gain that trust from everybody on the team, I feel like it's easier to play on the court.

What's Coach (Bruce) Pearl like?

Okeke: He's cool. He checks up on every player. That's the main thing about him. It's not just an on-the-court relationship. It's also off the court, too.

How'd you get the name Chuma?

Okeke: It comes from my dad. He's from Nigeria. My real name is Chukwuma. It means `God knows.' It's cool knowing that I have a meaning behind my name, and not everybody in the world has a Chuma. I'm one of a kind.

Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter:



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