Senior Udochukwu Ebiriekwe has become a prominent figure at Crenshaw High School. Along with being a multi-sport athlete, he is the ASB Vice President and a member of the sports injury prevention program Team Heal.
During this past season, Ebiriekwe became Coliseum League MVP and was named on the division I All-City First Team. His efforts gave him the opportunity to play in the SoCal Buzz Beach City Hoops All-Star Game and in the L.A. Classic All-Star Game. He mentioned how the teacher’s strike break helped him with his leadership skills.
“It helped me take some time off and just really focus on myself and what I needed to do,” Ebiriekwe said. “After the strike break, it was about me leading my team and helping to win our League.”
Like his two older brothers, Ebiriekwe is captain of the Crenshaw boys basketball team. With help from head coach Ed Waters and his own experience, he aided a team to a 15-12 overall record and an 8-1 Coliseum League record.
During his early years in high school, Ebiriekwe became a member of the squad who won back-to-back City Section championships in 2016 and 2017. He noted how hard work the Cougars put in while battling a tough Coliseum League and how they persevered despite having a low seed.
“Just seeing that just helps me to get the Crenshaw spirit in me to never give up,” Ebiriekwe said.
The two consecutive championships put the Cougars into City Section Open Division during his junior year. Although they did not win a City Section title that year, Crenshaw did go to the State playoffs.
“That was a big year for us,” Ebiriekwe said. “We showed everybody that we could actually play with anybody we want to … winning our first state [tournament] game in years was pretty big for us.”
After basketball season, Ebiriekwe would also compete on the Cougars boys tennis team. This year, He partnered with fellow senior Simon Cadet to put up a contending 12-5 record in their doubles matches. In every win, they defeated their opponents in straight sets. In their first meeting against Dorsey High School, they won 6-0, 6-0 and would do this again in their matches against Santee and Jefferson high schools.
Ebiriekwe and Cadet helped the Crenshaw boys tennis team to a 16th seed in the division II City Section playoffs.
His English teacher, Maria Bennett, helped with time management and would even attend his games.
“She really helped me balance everything out especially with AP classes in my 11th grade year,” Ebiriekwe said. “It really gave me time management.”
During the football season, Ebiriekwe worked with Team Heal and learned the importance of staying aware of his surroundings in order to help players during games. He noted how he once had to help put a player on a gurney.
“You got to run on the field and be fast and quick with everything you do,” Ebiriekwe said. “You never know what can happen in those few seconds.”
Ebiriekwe’s favorite class is photography, where he learned how to edit photos and operate a camera. His favorite photo was a photo of a cheerleader he edited.
“She did a little split in the air and I took a picture of that and it came out really nice,” he said. “I put it on to another picture with stars and flashing lights everywhere so it will look really good.”