Evelyn Akhator’s story is a very familiar story of diligence that retains its luster even after many tells. At age 22, Evelyn has established for herself an enviable success in basketball through diligence, dedication and passion for what she loves.
After years of slugging it out in different basketball courts in Nigeria and losing her mother at the age of 16, Evelyn decided to turn her grief into energy to fuel her passion for basketball.
She got a visa to the United States of America where she had always wanted to play basketball. Only this time, she would be studying nursing alongside playing basketball.
She applied to a Junior College team in Florida. She was accepted. She not only performed excellently but outshone all of her teammates. This and culmination of different great feats earned her a spot in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
But, Evelyn has always been tied to her root, Nigeria. While she was studying and playing basketball, she sends part of her allowances home to her struggling father and siblings. It came as no surprise when she joined the Nigeria’s Afrobasket team to claim gold at the just concluded Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA).
The 22 year old joined the Nigerian team in late July to participate in training camp. In the final game that earned Nigeria the gold medal, she scored a team-high 13 points with seven rebounds helping Nigeria defeat Senegal 65-48 to earn its third FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title Sunday in the Malian city of Bamako.
Following Nigeria’s conclusion in the tournament, she will return to the United States to finish the WNBA season with the Dallas Wings.
Evelyn is a Nigerian that we are proud to celebrate.