10 things to know: Lawndale junior forward Chimezie Metu
The Lawndale High School basketball program doesn’t have much history to its name.
Junior forward Chimezie Metu is currently writing it. Rather on the soccer pitch — which he played growing up in Nigeria before returning to America in the sixth grade — or on the basketball court, Metu has always had a knack for scoring. The junior is quickly rising into one of the top players on the west coast for head coach Chris Brownlee and the Cardinals.
His talents will be very much needed if the Cardinals are going to make a postseason run. This year they move up to Division I-A. In the meantime, the Cardinals are going through the regular season and on a given night a number of Division I head coaches will be present to check out Metu. On the eve of their Pac-12 contest at Galen Center, Arizona State’s Herb Sendek and USC’s Andy Enfield were on hand to watch the four-star forward.
Meanwhile, here’s 10 things you may not know about the junior:
There’s Christian "The Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye and Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon but unlike some famous Nigerians, Metu’s nickname is much simpler: Chim.
"I guess my name was too hard to pronounce so people just cut it short," he said.
Metu loves the game. Even in his down time he’s playing basketball. In the off chance that he’s not playing or working out, he may be found playing basketball video games.
Late night snack
If it’s late and Metu is hungry, he’s reaching for a bowl and someFrosted Flakes
Metu is a fan of the New England Patriots but there’s no questioning where his heart is. Like many Angelenos, the 2013-14 season has been a tough one for Metu.
"I always been a Laker fan," he said.
For that, Metu chooses the 2006 film "The Pursuit of Happyness."
"Will Smith is my favorite actor and it’s a pretty good movie," he said.
Who would play you in a movie?
With Smith being his favorite actor, there’s no question who he’d want to be Chimezie Metu on screen.
"Will Smith," he said without hesitation.
Current Lakers forward Wesley Johnson averaged 16.5 points and shot 41.5 percent from three-point range in his one and only season seeing action at Syracuse after transferring from Iowa State. At Syracuse, Johnson wore No. 4 and caught Metu’s eye.
"I liked watching him when he was at Syracuse," Metu recalled. "He was one of my favorite players coming out of college. The year he got drafted was the year I got (to Lawndale)."
Occasionally, Metu will "switch it up" for his pregame meal but he normally goes across the street from his school and enjoys some teriyaki. Aside from that, his routine before games is pretty simple.
"Just eat (and) pray," he said. "That’s pretty much it."
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Metu can be found in the stands listening to music before games as well. Artist he listens to include J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Ab-Soul, and Chance The Rapper.
Favorite sports memory
The Cardinals went a perfect 10-0 in league play last season to capture the Pioneer League championship. In doing so, Metu was a part of a team that made history.
"That’s the first year that’s been done," Metu said of winning the league title.