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Player Spotlight
Ifeanyi Ofili

Uniondale PG Moves Quckly and Quietly
Jay Mumford

If you tell Uniondale PG Ifeanyi Ofili something and she doesn’t appear to be listening attentively, don’t worry. Her actions will tell you that she heard you loud and clear.

“Sometimes I have to check to see if she has a pulse”, joked Uniondale Head Coach Danielle Nichol. “She has the most calm demeanor I’ve ever seen as a coach. When I first started coaching her, I was always worried that she wasn’t listening, but she was. I know when the pressure is on (in games), I can rely on her to stay calm, keep her teammates calm and have them perform at the same level she does.”

Unwavering control in big game situations is an absolute must for any floor general worth their sneakers, and it’s also a hard attribute to coach. The 2007-08 and 2008-09 All-County PG is again calmly and steadily leading the Uniondale Lady Knights into the playoffs, tallying 12.8 points and 5 assists per game. But perhaps most impressive is the 5’6 senior’s cat burglar tendencies on defense.

“Her biggest attributes are definitely her speed and her defense”, said Coach Nichol. “Her on the ball defense is great.” Notching 5 steals a game can mark you as a problem for opposing guards that don’t take care of the ball, and Ofili has been picking pockets all season long. “Her control of the court is a major part of her game as well.” Her tenure at Uniondale and off season stints with NY Elite and LI Panthers AAU have helped hone her hard to teach talents into a pure PG package, and local D-2’s such as Centenary (NJ), Molloy and Dowling have begun to show interest.  However, as the next level approaches, both Ofili and Coach Nichols are aware of the Achilles’ Heel that needs to be attended to…and it’s a common issue with many naturally playing at the one.

“Going into college, I know that I have to work on my jump shot”, Ofili said. “I also have to improve my right hand.”

In the meantime, the approaching playoffs are approaching. The paradox of jitterbug speed and flat line control can be hard to master, but Ofili is confident that she can use those attributes to lead the Lady Knights all the way in her fourth and final year of varsity hoops.

“We went out early to Elmont last year”, Ofili said. “But we’re going to stay focused and keep working hard, because our chances are good to go all the way this year.”
 

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