Garland giant Zuby Ejiofor is only just getting started
Prepare for takeoff.
Five years ago, Zuby Ejiofor hadn't started playing basketball. Today, he's the 4th-ranked basketball recruit in Texas (37th in the nation) for the Class of 2022.
How did the junior power-forward skyrocket to the top of the TXHS Hoops world? Well, for starters, it helps to be a 6'8", 220+ pound freak athlete with a 7-foot wingspan. Still, the story behind Zuby's basketball journey isn't your typical path.
After Ejiofor won VYPE DFW's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year Fan Poll, we sat down with the Garland junior to go in depth about his game, his teammates and his future.
VYPE: Tell us a bit about your start to basketball. We understand you spend some time as a child in Nigeria, is that where you learned the game?
ZE: I was born here in the States but my parents moved us to Nigeria when I was young. My parents decided to move us back here when I was in the 6th grade. I didn't start playing basketball until I was in the 8th grade. My AAU Coach, Coach Andy, was in the stands watching me when I was playing for McMillan. After the game he asked me to join his Thunder Elite team. From that moment on I started to take basketball more seriously and started to improve my game.
VYPE: Take us through your gameday routine. Do you have any rituals or superstitions you adhere to?
ZE: I start my game routine the night before the game by going to bed early. I would go to my Coach Andy's house to focus and eat and get my mind set before I have to come back to school for the game.
VYPE: A few minutes before tipoff, what is your mindset? Break down your approach to each game?
ZE: Before tip-off, I'm extremely focused. I don't usually notice anyone in the stands. My main focus is to win the game, no matter what I have to do.
VYPE: What would you say is your best skillset as a basketball player? What area of your game do you need to improve upon the most?
ZE: My best skill set would be that I run the floor. Dribbling would be the one of the things that I have to improve on. I would like to be able to play the 3-4-5 in college, so I need to work on my ball handling.
Highlights of Zuby Ejiofor c/o 2022 with D.O.Y.A. from the Labor Day GASO in Houston. 🏀 @kingzub18 @HoustonHoops17U… https://t.co/QrdjQ97S8D— TBScouts (@TBScouts)1600044422.0
VYPE: Outside of basketball, what would you say is your biggest hobby? Do you have an hidden or secret talents?
ZE: Outside basketball, I like to play video games. My favorite game is NBA 2k. My hidden talent would be track, I can run the mile under 5:30sec.
VYPE: If you could go pro in any sport besides basketball, what would it be and why?
ZE: If I can go pro in any sports besides basketball, it would be football. I'm pretty fast and with more weight on me I would probably be a pretty good wide receiver or tight end.
VYPE: What about in the classroom, what is your favorite subject in school?
ZE: My favorite subject would be Math. Math comes easy for me.
VYPE: What was it like to receive your first offer from TCU? What did that moment mean to you and your family?
ZE: When I got my first offer from TCU, I felt extremely blessed. I thank God first, then my parents and all my coaches that made it possible for it to happen. Once I got an offer, I knew right then that I belong in basketball and the game can take me a long way in life.
VYPE: For you, what is the biggest difference between high school and AAU ball?
ZE: The biggest difference between AAU and high school ball is that in AAU you are playing with the best players around the country. Everyone that plays AAU is trying to get to the next level. This coming up EYBL season is going to be crazy and I'm excited for that. High school is a lot more relaxed. I get to enjoy playing the game I love with my friends and brothers. Hopefully we will make a run in State!
VYPE: On the Garland squad, who would you say is the funniest player on the team?
ZE: My whole Garland team is pretty funny. I got my older brother Ugo and younger brother Chuks, they act like clowns all the time. The funniest guy would have to be my PG Aaron King. We have been playing ball together since the 8th grade, he just cracks me up.
VYPE: Lastly, what has been your favorite basketball memory in your career so far?
ZE: We were playing a team; a couple players were talking trash to me throughout the game. I got the ball on the baseline, drove to the basket and dunked on them.