Before he graduated from Crenshaw High School, Kevin Ebiriekwe left his mark by contributing to the school’s rich basketball legacy. After aiding the boys’ basketball team to back-to-back championships during his underclassmen years, Ebiriekwe became captain of a squad that was promoted to the Open division for the 2017-18 season.
He will continue his basketball career on scholarship at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.
“I hope I’ve been a leader that coach [Waters]wanted me to be,” Ebiriekwe said. “I’m still progressing, I’m still learning, I’m talking to younger players, telling them where they need to go.”
While competing against a challenging Coliseum league, Ebiriekwe was maintaining a 3.8 GPA. His favorite class is English; Ebiriekwe expressed how the teacher, Maria Bennett, would prepare the class for the rigors of college through her teaching.
“You have to get your work done before deadline, no taking days off,” he said. “As soon as you get the assignment, start it when you get home.
Bennett also gave Ebiriekwe advice on using his time wisely as he prepared during gamedays.
“She tells me every time when the [junior varsity] game’s going on, go over your work, you have time to do it,” he said. “You can read, you can write, start writing and just get your work done.”
Ebiriekwe is also a leader off the court as a member of ASB and the school yearbook committee. The experiences he had with ASB taught him how to be a better leader.
He put forth a profound effort on court and was crowned MVP of the Coliseum league, making a season average of 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks per game. Crenshaw ascended to pace the Coliseum League with an 11-1 record. Ebiriekwe was named on the All-CIF L.A. City Section boys’ basketball team.
Ebiriekwe started playing basketball at a young age, spending his time at Del Amo park in Carson. His older brother, Chimezie, motivates him to play basketball and excel in his schoolwork. When he was younger, Ebiriekwe did not understand why Chimezie would come home from school tired until he started playing high school basketball.
“[I‘ve] just seen how he worked, his work ethic,” Ebiriekwe said. “He went home, got in bed and then woke up and did his homework, but now I know why that was happening.”
Ebiriekwe’s afterschool regimen is different, starting his homework after a shower. He noted how difficult it is to study after practicing for almost four hours in the afternoon.
“Fatigue is a horrible thing that we athletes suffer from,” he said. “We have to get home and do our work, sometimes it’s just exhausting.”
Throughout his time at Crenshaw, Ebiriekwe had his younger brother, Steven, as a teammate; He worked to mentor Steven this past season.
“Even guarding me, I tell him not to let me get it on the post or play me a certain way,” Ebiriekwe said. “It’s been fun to teach him, to push him.”