Okwuosa’s Stellar Sophomore Season Yields MVP Honors
Ethan Okwuosa puts a lot of hours into his craft as a basketball player. Ethan not only suits up for boys’ basketball team at North Haven High school, he also competes at the AAU level to help himself improve.
As a freshman last season, Ethan was the Indians’ sixth man and averaged around five points per game. This year, he started at shooting guard and poured in 16.5 points a game on his way to earning the Most Valuable Player Award for North Haven, which won 13 games and qualified for both postseason tournaments.
“It means a lot that my teammates voted me as MVP. It means that I was able to be a role model for them, as well as do what I had to do on the court for us to win,” Ethan says. “I accomplished a lot this year, and I’m proud of that. Hopefully, it keeps going well.”
Ethan feels that practicing against stiff competition in the AAU ranks helps to elevate his game. Ethan is a fixture on the basketball court, and he also competes for the North Haven boys’ outdoor track team.
“I’m very dedicated. I play basketball six days a week. Sundays are my rest days,” Ethan says. “If I have practice early, I go to the gym in the evening. If I have practice late, I’ll go to the gym early. I’m always playing basketball or working out. The spring is busy, because I have track and basketball practice. It keeps me focused, because I know I can’t slack.”
Head Coach Justin Falcon appreciates the intensity that Ethan brings to the court. Falcon says Ethan makes a big impact on the offensive end, in addition to playing solid defense at the top of the zone scheme.
“Defensively, what makes him stand out are his instincts. He’s long and can read passes, which leads to a lot of fast breaks. We’re a transition team, so that helps a bunch when we’re trying to get points,” says Falcon. “On offense, he’s got a very well-rounded game. He can handle, shoot, get to the hoop, and pull off a mid-range jump shot, as well.”
While strengthening his physical attributes, Ethan has developed his hoops IQ in order to continue to improve. Ethan has also seen great success in the classroom as he earned All-SCC Academic honors this year.
“I’ve always been taller, faster, and able to jump. As I’ve been working, I developed more skill,” says Ethan, who’s 6-foot-2. “I have a good basketball IQ. I know where players are going to be at certain times, and that allows me to anticipate. I developed that over time by practicing with high-caliber players. I was able to learn things from my teammates.”
As a member of the track team, Ethan competes in the 100 and the 200, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, plus the long jump and triple jump. Last spring, Ethan set freshman school records in both the long jump (19 feet-6 inches) and triple jump (39-8), and he expects to improve upon those marks this year.
Competing for the track team helps keep Ethan in tip-top shape for basketball, and Coach Falcon says he’s excited to see what’s ahead for Ethan during the second half of his tenure with the team.
“He hasn’t even reached his full potential yet. He wants to be a 1,000-point scorer, and I think that’s something he can 100 percent get to,” says Falcon. “The sky is the limit for this kid, and I think he’ll be a player that a lot of people in North Haven will remember for a while.”