Shooting hoops with Emmanuel Ndumanya ’17, M.A. ’18
Like most kids growing up in Nigeria, the only sport Emmanuel Ndumanya ’17, M.A. ’18 wanted to play was soccer. But when he exceeded the weight limit for his local league in ninth grade, Ndumanya was forced to take up another sport. Now 6-foot-10 and 267 pounds, Ndumanya had a natural alternative—basketball.
A Nigerian scout brought him to Gardena, California, in high school before he came to Santa Clara. Adjusting to the States was difficult. “It got to the point I was tired of everything, and I told the folks that brought me here to buy my flight home,” Ndumanya said. “They encouraged me to keep fighting, never give up.”
On the court, Ndumanya is a team-first player. It might not ever get him on a poster, but he has taken pride in setting screens for outstanding scorers like Jared Brownridge ’17 and K.J. Feagin ’19.
“It’s a job that needs to be done,” Ndumanya says. “So I make sure I get the right person open.”
Ndumanya is taking graduate classes in educational leadership with hopes of owning a business after a career in basketball overseas. He also wants to run a school in Africa. “I want to give back to the community in the same way that they took care of me,” he says.