Chiefs Pro Bowl RB, “Nigerian Nightmare”, Christian Okoye Interview
Christian Okoye grew up in Nigeria and never played youth football. He played collage football at Azusa Pacific (D3) school. He entered the 1987 NFL Draft, and was drafted 35th overall by the Chiefs. He played in the NFL for Marty Schottenheimer from 1987 to 1992, and totaled over 5000 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career. He made the Pro Bowl in 1989 and 1991. Check out our great interview!
Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?
Okoye : I connect with my fans though Facebook of course, and Twitter.
Strauss : Who were your role models as a child?
Okoye : As a child, it was my father. My father was a good example. He has great patience and he is very precise.
Strauss : What went behind your decision on playing football?
Okoye : I love sports so much that Nigeria didn’t take me to be in the Olympics. So… I decided to play football.
Strauss : When you were growing up, you didn’t play football. Did you ever think that you would establish yourself as arguably the greatest running back in Chiefs history?
Okoye : No I didn’t. Not at all.
Strauss : How did your track success help you in football?
Okoye : Well, the athletic ability that I had developed in track and field helped me with football.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory from playing football at Azusa Pacific?
Okoye : I have plenty! But, it’s just the friends that I made while playing at Azusa [Pacific] helped me a whole lot because I didn’t know anything about football. My teammates helped me.
Strauss : What was the whole experience you went through trying to promote yourself being drafted?
Okoye : I didn’t have any idea at all. I didn’t know what to do coming out of college. So, I kinda like, just tried to be in the best shape that I can.
Strauss : Was the transition to the NFL harder than you thought it would be?
Okoye : It was very hard, and as hard as I thought it was going to be.
Strauss : What made it so hard?
Okoye : Just coming from a small school to play in the NFL is a big jump!
Strauss : You made the Pro Bowl twice in your career, what was the Pro Bowl like back then?
Okoye : It was a lot of fun. It was like a vacation for the players. So, it was fun being able to go to the Pro Bowl.
Strauss : Do you have a favorite memory with the Chiefs?
Okoye : My favorite memory with the Chiefs… Well… Kansas City people are so loving. They love me and it’s a nice town. A memory there is just everything that everyone could hope for.
Strauss : You were nicknamed, “The Nigerian Nightmare”, do you have to story to share your thoughts on that?
Okoye : No, it’s just that my teammates started calling me, “Nigerian Nightmare” in practice. It was because I was always running full speed. They started calling me, “Nigerian Nightmare” and it stuck.
Strauss : How much impact did Marty Schottenheimer have on your career?
Okoye : A big impact. He’s a great coach. His speeches and his advice and everything, it made a big impact.
Strauss : What’s the Christian Okoye Foundation? [http://christianokoyefoundation.com/]
Okoye : The Christian Okoye Foundation works with inner-city kids trying to direct them to setting goals and staying off of drugs, and focusing on education and all that.
Strauss : What’s Okoye Health and Fitness? [http://okoyefitness.com/]
Okoye : Okoye Health and Fitness is a small, protein supplement company. We make protein powder.
Strauss : What’s it like to be a Kansas City Chiefs, Hall of Famer?
Okoye : It’s like being wanted and invested in Kansas City. It’s a big accomplishment.
Strauss : For someone who wants to play in the NFL, what’s the best advice you can give them?
Okoye : Just work hard. Leave everything to you selecting yourself and it’s out of the question. So.. If you work hard, and know what you’re doing… They will see you.
Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell Kansas City fans or anything that we haven’t really talked about?
Okoye : No, not really. Sorry that it took so long, you caught me at a time that we were doing an event.
Strauss : Thank you so much for your time.
Okoye : Alright, no problem. Take care!