The State of Georgia has been known to produce some of the finest athletes to grace the exciting world of basketball. Names like Walt Frazier, Shareef Abdul-Raheem, Dwight Howard, and many more have taken their skills from local high-school gyms to the highest level that professional basketball has to offer, hence when you are 6’3 with extreme athleticism and a mean game to match, it doesn’t take very long until your talent gets the recognition that it deserves from scouts and media personnel’s alike from across the nation.
Ify Imachukwu is one athlete that is trying to follow in the foot-steps of the stars mentioned above. A 6’3 explosive combo guard, Ify was born in Lagos, Nigeria but later moved to the US at the tender age of five. After a brief stop in the New Jersey area, Ify and his family moved South, settling in Georgia, and just like most kids in his neighborhood, the young guard picked up the game of basketball and has refused to put it down ever since.
“It’s funny because I didn’t even know what Basketball was until I moved to the U.S. at age five. I wasn’t very good at first and people would always make fun of me because I lacked skill, that just motivated me to want be better than everyone one else and strive for perfection”.
As a young Ify continued to polish his skills through the years, his talent didn’t go unnoticed by his high-school coach, leading him to become a varsity starter in his freshman year at Duluth High-School. That foundation gave him the motivation for his sophomore campaign where he finished the season averaging 16.3 points per game. During his Junior year, his points dropped to 12.5 per game mainly due to the fact that he focused more on working on other aspects of his game in an effort to become a well rounded player and in addition to carrying the responsibility of being the team captain as a Junior.
This past summer has seen Ify’s game progress remarkably, he is now ranked amongst the top prospects in Georgia, and while playing for his AAU team GA stars, Ify caught the attention of scouts and basketball analysts from across the country. He attacks the rim with much ferocity and finishes with extreme control, he is able to handle the ball at either guard position and he is getting more comfortable with hitting the jump shot from anywhere around the perimeter. Ify is not fazed by his recent rise in the game, and realizes the areas in his game that he still needs to work on to get to that elite level.
“I’ve worked on my three-point shot a lot, ball handling, explosiveness, vertical jump, defense, and Leadership”. Ify stated to TNB.
During the recent SEBA Atlanta All-Star Shootout, Ify was highlighted as one of the top performers on show, his report stated the following…Bouncy and explosive wing guard with excellent athleticism. Had several highlight reel dunks throughout the day. Excels while attacking the rim and in transition; but also displayed the ability to knock down the mid-range jumper off the dribble. Is currently holding offers and/or receiving significant interest from several D1 and High D2 programs. Poised to have a big senior season; excellent future…
To say that Ify’ hard-work is finally starting to pay off will be regarded as an understatement, two key figures that he credits for contributing to his success on and off the basketball court are his mum and very close friend Joi.
“…My Mum has done everything possible and been there to support me, she’s 100% dependable. And Joi Jones, an old friend that also plays ball for the girls in my school. We would always support each other, play hard, bet on who would score more each game, me or her, and she was a good influence on her team and I have respect for that”.
Going into his final year at Duluth, Ify’s recruitment situation is starting to pick up, a number of Division one programs are looking at him and he currently holds two offers from Tennessee State and St. East Missouri State. But when asked about his focus for this season, there was only one thing on Ify’s mind, he simply stated ”…To win basketball games and put my school (Duluth High School) on the map for basketball…” You definitely cant get any more responsibility from your leader.
Off the basketball court, Ify remains grounded, he stays very close to his Mom helping her out with her business, and he also helps out in his local Church. His transition through high school has been based on a foundation of hard-work and dedication, which has enabled him to become the leader that he is today, something a top College basketball program can surely benefit from.