Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

GFA Alum Sunday Okeke '17 Gives Back As A Coach

John Nash

As Sunday Okeke stood inside GFA's Coyle Gymnasium, the ghosts of his history could be felt around him.

How long had it been since he first walked into the school? Eight years? Maybe ten?

He came to campus from Lagos, Nigeria, Okeke was just a ninth grader when he walked into the Coyle Gym for the first time, joining a program that was exploding with depth and talent and putting the Dragons on the map athletically with the NEPSAC. Outside of his basketball coach and his host family, Okeke knew nobody else at GFA when he first walked into the doors of 35 Beachside Ave. Today, he's one of the school's biggest basketball success stories.

Okeke wanted to come back and contribute to the school that had changed the path of his life, which is why he wanted to come home as an assistant coach this basketball season.

“I think it means a lot, coming back to where it all started,” Okeke said with his infectious grin recalling the good old days. “Basically, I’m just trying to

give back and be a role model for all these guys here now. That’s the biggest thing for me.”

Okeke might have been a scared kid when he arrived on American soil, but by the time he left GFA, he was a monster player, a difference-maker who scored 1,000 career points and grabbed more than 1,000 career rebounds.

His talents took him to Division I Wake Forest University, where his career got derailed a bit by injuries, but he still saw action in 45 games over the first three years.

His love for the game, though, never wavered and he’s happy to be back on the sidelines helping out in any way he can.

“I’m just trying to help out any way I can,” Okeke said. “In general, that means working with the big guys and giving tips whenever I can when it comes to the games.”

During his playing days, Okeke never imagined himself becoming a coach but once his career was over and he left Wake Forest with a degree and a destination for the rest of his life, basketball stayed a central focus. In fact, he’s working for a Chicago-based software company that helps basketball programs recruit and scout.

“You know, the great thing about Sunday is that he played for a lot of really good coaches and he brings a fresh set of eyes,” said former GFA coach Mike Jarvis II, who hired Okeke to join the GFA staff before accepting his associate athletic director’s job at Fairfield University. “And this is something that he really wants to do, which is awesome. It’s always great to have an alumnus come back, especially one who everybody loves as much as they do Sunday, and I think he’ll bring a lot of positive things to the program.”