Thursday, June 26, 2008


The following is from today's Westbury Christian School website. The article is self-explanatory. Below the press release, I have reprinted an entry (entitled Mug Shots, Marriage, And Med School) from August of 2006, also about Ugo Ihekweazu. As a school, we are justifiably very proud of Ugo. If you don't know him, you will understand why when you read.

"Westbury Christian School alumni Ugo Ihekweazu (WCS Class '03) was one of a handful of Cornell graduates who received the Cornell Tradition Senior Recognition Award for their commitment to the Cornell Tradition of work, service, and scholarship. As part of that award, each recipient had the opportunity to designate a $500 charitable contribution to the non-profit or public service organization of their choice. WCS alumni Ugo Ihekweazu chose Westbury Christian School as the recipient for his $500 charitable gift.According to Ugo Ihekweazu, “Whenever I have the opportunity to help, WCS will always be at the top of my list. WCS is an instrumental part of the southwest Houston community – not just for the education they provide, but for the Christian values they bring to the community.”According to Cornell University, Ugo Ihekweazu was one of nine senior Tradition fellows selected to receive this prestigious award in the 2007-2008 academic year. The award does not bring financial remuneration to the individual; instead, each recipient has the opportunity to establish a one-year Cornell Tradition fellowship in his or her name and identify a charitable organization to receive the charitable contribution. The Office of the Cornell Tradition stated, “We are especially proud of these outstanding recipients. In addition to exemplifying the ideals of The Cornell Tradition, each of these students have made a unique and lasting contribution to the quality of life on campus and in the community.”

It was a typical sports' day. Former Ohio State football star Maurice Clarett was arrested again after a high speed chase in Columbus. Clarett, who had a number of loaded weapons in his vehicle, was not affected by a police stun gun- he just happened to be wearing a bullet proof vest. The authorities resorted to mace in subduing the young man who at one time was the premier running back in college football. Clarett is still awaiting trial for aggravated robbery. It's just not a great time for athletes from Ohio. Today it was also announced that Ohio State's starting tight end, Marcel Frost, has been removed from the Buckeye roster for an unspecified violation of team rules. A number of Cincinnati Bengals, five to be exact, have recently had legal scrapes. The latest Bengal to be booked was offensive lineman Eric Steinbach, arrested and charged with operating a boat while intoxicated. In non-Ohio sports items, Floyd Landis, Tour de France winner and Justin Gatlin, world's fastest human, both maintain their innocence despite failing recent drug tests which put their accomplishments in serious doubt.

There was another sports story today which didn't gain nearly the attention of the controversies. Elden Auken was buried in Florida at age ninety-five. He had been a major league baseball player in his younger days, retiring as a pitcher with a winning record and over one hundred career wins. He pitched in two World Series for the Detroit Tigers and was the last living major leaguer to have played against Babe Ruth. As accomplished as he was as an athlete, and some consider Auker to be the finest athlete to ever come out of Kansas State University, there was so much more to set this man apart. You see, he left behind Mildred, his beloved wife of seventy-three years. His life in later years was totally dedicated to caring for his one true love. In a culture that smirks at infidelity, Elden Auker was faithful to the end. After baseball, he became a successful businessman who counted a president (Ford) among his friends. Still, the most important person in his existence remained Mildred, who first came into his life as a KSU coed in 1932. Tonight, she goes to sleep a widow, grieving the man who stood by her side in eight different decades. Elden Auker's baseball career might not be considered exceptional by major league standards but his marriage was Hall Of Fame quality by any accounting.

You can tell that I, along with many who follow athletics, have reached a level of disgust unparalleled in the annals of American fandom. There is a flip side of the coin. Ugo came by school this afternoon. You probably don't know Ugo but you might someday. It won't be from a police mug shot or doping scandal, even though he is an athlete. You see, Ugo Ihekweazu is a college basketball player.... at Cornell. You might have heard of it; Ivy League school, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Ugo graduated from Westbury Christian School in 2003 where among numerous other achievements and extracurriculars, he was my student assistant for the middle school girls' basketball team. He has spent this summer as an intern in New York City. Next spring, he will receive his diploma from Cornell and enter medical school. Doctor Ugo; it has a ring.The only drugs he'll be involved with are the ones he prescribes to his patients to save their lives. Or Coach Ugo; he could be the next Phil Jackson if he had the inclination. Or my favorite, Brother Ugo; I was there the day he was baptized into Jesus Christ. Ugo and the others like him are the positive face of athletics, the roster of those whose names are out of the spotlight because they go to class and prepare to be the next generation of leaders. Ugo is coming back to see us Friday and he told me he will be bearing a gift. Two letters, Ugo- XL, as in Cornell Big Red basketball t-shirt size!

Applicable quote of the day:"The doors fly open when you're a professional athlete." Dennis Rodman

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Susan Jones said...

Ugo's exemplary character needs to be highlighted in every newspaper, magazine, and television talk show as the new trend for both young and old to follow.