Zuby Ejiofor, a junior at Garland High School (Dallas, TX), has rocketed up the recruiting rankings after a strong summer showing. Largely unknown pre-pandemic, he jumped from unranked in both Rivals and 247Sports to 35th and 41st, respectively. With the growing notoriety came offers from Texas, TCU, and Virginia Tech. Since Pro Insight’s interview with Ejiofor, he has subsequently received offers from Seton Hall and Houston.
At 6’9” with a 7’0” wingspan, Ejiofor possesses a strongly built frame at 225 pounds. While American born, Ejiofor spent years of his childhood in his parents’ home country of Nigeria, before moving back to the United States in sixth grade.
With a bright smile and a mature, yet goofy personality, Ejiofor shines in his first-ever formal on-camera interview. He talks about the differences between Texas and Nigeria, what family means to him, shooting up the national rankings, leaving a legacy, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Zuby Ejiofor, from Dallas, Texas:
Pro Insight: Can you share a bit about your family, where you’re from, and your background prior to getting to where you are today?
Zuby Ejiofor: Me and my family are from Nigeria. I was born here, but we moved to Nigeria. We came back in sixth grade. I have four other brothers. The oldest one is Emmanuel, then there’s Ugo, Chuks, and Dubem. Two of my brothers go here and play on varsity (Garland High School). Then there’s me, my mom, and my dad. Sometimes my dad goes to Nigeria and then comes back for about two months. Then it’s me, my brothers, and my mom.
PI: What does your mom do?
ZE: She’s a nurse. She works at family homes. She works 7-7 shifts each day of the week. That’s a lot. I’m really doing this for her.
PI: How does watching what your mom does motivate you?
ZE: I talk about it every night. I wouldn’t want to see my mom working that much. I’m just wanting to get to the next level and provide for my family like she did for me.
PI: What did you learn from moving around a lot growing up?
ZE: It’s a lot to take in. I never knew about basketball until I came back (to the states). It’s a lot. I started playing for fun, and then during my eighth grade year, that’s when I started taking it more seriously when I met my coach, Andy. I met him that year. They came to one of my middle school games at Wiley. He was in the crowd, and after the game, he chatted with me and said his team needed a big man. So I started taking basketball more seriously, growing, and understanding the game. I started playing for real that year, and that’s when I started improving my game.
PI: Were you always the tallest kid around? Were you ever taller than your older brothers?
ZE: Yeah, I was always the tallest one in my middle school. They (my brothers) were taller than me until I outgrew Ugo a little bit. My older brother Emmanuel is a couple inches above me.
PI: What is it like playing on a team with two of your brothers?
ZE: They’re goofy. We challenge ourselves. We play against each other and fight with each other. I’ve been waiting for this. Two years ago, my brother Ugo and I were supposed to be on varsity together, but something came up, so I played JV and he played varsity. Last year I played with him and now my younger brother is going to play along with us. I’m waiting to see what’s going on with him.
PI: How do you and your brothers challenge each other?
ZE: We talk trash. I mean, it’s funny. We talk trash on the court, but after basketball, after we get home, it’s all family. We love each other.
PI: Who is the funniest of your brothers?
ZE: They say it’s me. My mom says that. They see it’s me. I’m the most goofy in the family.
PI: Have you played any other sports growing up?
ZE: I played football in my middle school. I was pretty good until I started growing. Then I quit football to play basketball. My younger brother Chuks played soccer. He played goalie. That’s about it, though.
PI: What about in Nigeria? Did you play any sports there?
ZE: Back in Nigeria, I didn’t know much about sports. When I moved here, that’s when I started getting the feel of the game and learning about basketball, football, and all that.
PI: Have you been able to return to Nigeria since sixth grade?
ZE: I got to go back last year. We were celebrating my grandparents’ 80th anniversary. Unfortunately, my granddad died this year, so my mom and dad are going to go back for his burial.