Denver Transfer Uju Ezeudu Set to Join Women’s Basketball

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A two-time All-Summit league selection and the third-leading scorer in the conference last season, Uju Ezeudu (Reynoldsburg, Ohio / Reynoldsburg HS / Denver) has officially signed with the nationally-ranked FGCU women’s basketball team to join the program next season as announced by head coach Karl Smesko today. The 6-0 forward averaged 17.3 points for the Pioneers as a junior this past season and became the fastest player in DU history to reach 1,000 career points in just 73 games.

“Uju is a really talented player who should do great things for us. She is smart, strong, and athletic,” said Smesko. “She is a great scorer and rebounder. She also draws a lot of fouls, and she has the foundation to become a good three-point shooter.”

Ezeudu (pronounced Ew-ju uh-ZOO-dew) finished her career at Denver having started during all three seasons to compile 1,156 points, 12th all-time in DU history, in 82 games overall (72 starts). She earned All-Summit League Second Team honors in 2021 and 2022 after starting both years on the preseason second team as well. She ranks seventh all-time in Pioneers history for scoring (14.1 per game), fourth in free throws made (333), ninth in rebounds per game (7.3), and 10th in blocked shots (75).

This past season was her most productive as she averaged 17.3 points to go with 8.0 rebounds with 45 blocked shots and 42 steals. She had nine 20-point games on the year with a season-high 31 points against North Dakota State (followed by a 28-point outing the next night against the Bison). She had seven double-doubles including a pair of games with 17 rebounds – against Missouri A&T and in the first game against NDSU. She also found success at the free throw line going 166-of-216 (.769) which led the Summit League and ranked eighth for both makes and attempts in the NCAA. Her 520 points were the sixth-most for a single season in DU history, while her 166 free throws were a program record.

That marked her second season averaging double figures as she scored 15.2 points alongside 6.4 rebounds as a sophomore in 2020-21 while shooting a career-best 49 percent from the floor. She scored a career-high 32 points, tied as the sixth-highest point total in program history for a single game, against Kansas City as part of six games over 20 points. Her 15.2 points were sixth overall in the Summit League while she ranked seventh in rebounding.

As a freshman in 2019-20, Ezeudu averaged 9.9 points and 7.2 rebounds having started 22-of-29 games played. She posted a double-double in her first collegiate game with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Kansas City. Ezeudu concluded her freshman campaign with five double-doubles overall. She also ranked seventh in the league for rebounding as one of the top rookies in the conference.

Prior to joining the Pioneers, Ezeudu she was a two-time First-Team All-District and all-league selection at Reynoldsburg High School. She scored over 1,000 points in her prep career including 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior. As a junior, she averaged 15.3 points and 10.0 rebounds earning a spot on the This Weeks Sports Super 12 Girls Basketball Team.

FGCU, ranked No. 20 in the final WBCA poll of the season, finished 2021-22 with a 30-3 overall record after advancing to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. That marked the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance for the Eagles over the past 11 years and the fifth straight. The Green and Blue won its ninth ASUN Championship Title to earn the berth, while the 30 wins marked the fifth time in the past eight seasons to hit the milestone.

For complete coverage of the women’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram at @FGCU_WBB, on Facebook at / fgcuwbb and online at www.FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU women’s basketball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $ 10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the EAGLE Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM
Do you enjoy watching or following the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a role in the growth of the program and help take it to heights never before experienced? If so, you can reach out to Director of Advancement, Matt Ring, about opportunities to make an impact on the experiences of our student-athletes. He can be reached by email at mring@fgcu.edu or by office phone at 239-745-4434.

COACH SMESKO
FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 610-128 (.826) overall in his career, which is the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 232-18 (.930) mark in ASUN regular season play and a 30-2 (.933) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the previous 10 seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 153-5 (.968) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 12-straight 25-win seasons and 18-consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in five of the last eight years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 549-101 (.845) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .845 all-time winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I. women’s basketball history.

#FEEDFGCU
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 90 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 44 teams or individuals compete in the NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.

— FGCUATHLETICS.COM —

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