Raider Spotlight: Well-traveled Ononye leads WSU

Justin Boggs

WSU defender Emeka Ononye goes up for a free kick in the first half of Monday's game between WSU and Cincinnati.

Justin Kinner, WWSU Sports Director

Wright State men’s soccer player Emeka Ononye has been involved with the game of soccer since he was five years old. It’s because of his passion for the sport that has led him to a successful soccer career that he hopes is just beginning.

“Soccer has been in my family forever, it’s in my blood, it’s what I want to do,” Ononye said.

Born and raised in England, Ononye developed his passion for soccer at a young age before moving to Canada where his talent started to shine. It was his experience playing for his club travel teams that allowed his talent to be noticed by coaches all over the map.

Although WSU was lucky enough to land the talented defender, other schools like Michigan, Oakland University, and IPFW were amongst other suitors that competed for his talent.

Despite the high demand for Ononye, it was the opportunity to help get a championship that drove him to become a Raider.

“Mainly the opportunity to play Division I soccer. To be able to play again on the field and really help them get a championship and in my freshman year, we were really close,” Ononye said about coming to WSU. “We have been unlucky the past couple of years but I’m hoping that this is the year. We are looking pretty good and I am pretty excited to see what we can do.”

As humbled and grateful as Ononye is to be a Raider, his coach and teammates are just as grateful to have him on the roster.

“He is a special talent and any mistakes that he makes he makes up for it with his athleticism. He is a very, very awesome human being, first and foremost, and that is why it’s actually a blessing to coach him,” WSU head coach Bryan Davis said.

Ononye’s talents have shined beyond just the collegiate level as he played for K-W United in the USL Premier Development League where he was named the club’s Player of the Year last summer.

“It was an awesome summer for me. The players I played with, the coaching staff, everything was so professional and everything was so organized,” Ononye said. “I was around players who wanted to win and I played with some of the best players in the country. It was just an amazing experience for me to play with those players and to learn from those players and coaches.”

Due to the success that Ononye had over the summer, the possibility of playing professionally after graduation is on his radar.

“That is definitely something that I think about,” Ononye said. “Especially playing this summer with players that are probably going to be drafted as well so it’s definitely something I think about. It’s every kids dream that plays soccer to be drafted and play professionally and have that title of being a professional.”

With this being Ononye’s final season at Wright State, Davis credits his work ethic as the key tool to allow him to be successful at anything he pursues when his days as a Raider are over.

“I am very proud of the way he has developed. From where he started to where he is now is really special so I’m pretty pleased with him,” said Davis.

Print Friendly