In this Scorers 1st series, we will be meeting the new additions to our agency who have joined after finishing their respective college careers and as they prepare to make the jump from campus to the pros...
A player with great rebounding ability, Stephen Nwaukoni out of Hofstra Univeristy was one of the best rebounders in the Colonial Athletic Association during his Senior season. The 6-foot-8, 240 pound power forward/center averaged 8.8 rebounds per game, which ranked 4th in rebounding and 1st in offensive rebounds per game (3.1 per game) to go along with 6.2 points per game.
Nwaukoni's lasting mark at Hofstra: the 12th player in program history to record 700 career rebounds is just the third Dutchmen to reach 700 rebounds in the last 30 years.
Give us the scouting report on Stephen Nwaukoni. How would you best describe yourself as a player?
From a player standpoint, I would ultimately describe myself as an “energy guy". Whether it's during practice or a game, I am always self-committed in giving the maximum amount of effort required on the floor and working hard enough to challenge my teammates and most importantly to better my team. I will do whatever it takes defensively to make it difficult for my opponent to score as well as create chaos for guard penetration. On both ends, I can rebound the basketball efficiently and consistently no matter what situation the game presents. Offensively, I would consider myself as a stretch forward that can shoot, post up as well as create plays.
Looking back on your college career at Hofstra, what do you appreciate the most about that experience?
Just simply the opportunity I was granted. Not many can wake up knowing that they are a prominent part of a four-year university, receiving a free education all in exchange to do what they love to do best. In terms of my actual college career the best part was all of the love, support and acknowledgement I received from Hofstra fans, supporters, faculty and administrators. Being part of a great program, surrounded with a great coaching staff and teammates created a great experience for me at Hofstra University not only from a player but from a personal standpoint. If there is one thing I will never forget it will be all the time, dedication and commitment members of this program took into making a better student, player and person.
What goal/goals have you set as you consider your first year playing professionally?
My expectations for my rookie year playing pro, is to most importantly perfect my strength of rebounding as well as expand on my versatility and become of a more scoring threat as a stretch forward and potential 3 man. In addition, being committed to performing on a consist basis is a huge goal. Throughout my career at Hofstra, I was always entitled into playing one specific role, the center position, which I do believe was way below my capabilities. As I’ve been well committed to my offseason skill development, I look into perfecting my weaknesses and continuing to transpire it onto the court.
Can you break down your offseason training schedule?
My motto when it comes to training is, “Make no excuses, and just make the adjustments.”
I believe that if you’re “interested” in something you will do it under your own convenience, but if you’re “committed” you will do it with no excuses. Commitment is something I live up to everyday. My workout plan revolves around conditioning, speed and agility, weight training and skill development. I work out about 5-7 hours daily from Monday through Friday. For health purposes I take Saturday and Sunday off but as of recently been partaking in summer leagues. Monday through Friday I have conditioning sessions (30 mins.) on the treadmill or track and lifting session’s (alternating upper and lower body; 1 hour). I work with a speed and agility trainer every Tuesday and Thursday on footwork, explosive movements and quickness. However, I dedicate most of my time to skill development with my basketball trainer that I workout with every day of the week. Half of the time I work on my perimeter skills (handling, moves to the basket, triple threat activities etc.) and the other half on my post/face-up game (shooting, post-moves, finishes around the basket etc.) My off time, Saturday and Sunday I rest and do extra stretching and body treatments.
Who has helped influence you as a person/player and what words of advice have they shared?
Throughout my college career, there have been many people that have influenced me as a player and most importantly as a person. From family, friends, trainers, coaches, professors and even many others down the line have motivated to become the person who I am today. However, one person that has consistently pushed and motivated me from "Day 1" is my former AAU coach Roberto Diaz. In my younger years -- when many thought I was going to amount to nothing -- Rob stayed by my side and presented me an opportunity that not many were fortunate to have.
He introduced me to the game at age 13 and always remained dedicated and loyal into making me a better student, player and person; always emphasized the value of maintaining good grades, especially during times when others were falling astray. Rob taught me the value of staying humble, being open to criticism and essentially being coachable. He was always supportive and was always committed into doing whatever possible to enhance my game. Rob’s actions always spoke louder than his words, and till this days is still of high value to me.
Stephen Nwaukoni Player Profile Page
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