Attaochu trivia

Hello, all-

Hope you got to read the Jeremiah Attaochu story. A few tidbits I didn’t put in it that I learned from talking with his father Paul, who himself has a fascinating background.

1. Attaochu’s middle name is Ojima-ojo, which in Attaochu’s father’s tribal language means “God’s glory.”

2. Paul wasn’t so sure about Jeremiah’s football prospects. “I never thought that Jeremiah could withstand the rigor of that sport to get a scholarship,” he said. Paul said Jeremiah’s mother Comfort was more encouraging to Jeremiah about football than he was.

3. Jeremiah arrived with his siblings and mother in 2001 from Nigeria. Paul went to pick up his family at Dulles International Airport. They arrived with other international flights, which, as you might guess, were full of people from around the world.
Said Paul, “Jeremiah kept asking me a question: ‘Where are the white people?’”

4. Paul Attaochu grew up in a small village in Nigeria, went to college in Lagos, the largest city in the country. He went on an exchange program to a college in Wisconsin, where he finished his bachelor’s and earned a master’s at the same time. He went home, got married and then, with the economy faltering, moved to the U.S. in 1997.
He was there for four years by himself, working at a church and simultaneously earning a ministry degree. Paul said he sometimes was up till 1 or 2 a.m. and waking up at 5 a.m., and was so tired he got into a couple accidents because he fell asleep at the wheel. He never went back home and when he spoke with his kids, they always asked when they could join him. He called it the worst part of his life.
They joined him in 2001. Two years later, he took Jeremiah’s mother Comfort to an entrance examination for a nursing program. It was free, so she suggested Paul take the test also. He passed, she didn’t, and so he studied to be a licensed practical nurse for the next year and a half, going to school during the day and working a 10 p.m.-7 a.m. shift at Home Depot. He now works at a psychiatric hospital at night and is a pastor in the day.
Comfort later got her master’s in social work and works at a veterans hospital.
I don’t know if it’s because my parents are immigrants, but I always find stories about people like Mr. Attaochu remarkable.

12 comments Add your comment

Jack Nicholson

April 20th, 2011
12:14 pm

Ken, this is all fine and dandy. Now, how about a story regarding how well the team will do next year, spring practice, etc…


April 20th, 2011
12:19 pm

Great stuff. I like to read the players’ background stories.

Go Jackets!

Ken Sugiura

April 20th, 2011
12:22 pm

manup – thanks.
jack – i’ll direct you to the link on this post about the actual story about Attaochu. thanks for asking.

GT4Life (the Original)

April 20th, 2011
12:45 pm

Great read, Ken. If this kid has half the determination of his parents, he’ll be “All-ACC”, maybe an All-American, for multiple years at Tech.

Upstate Jacket

April 20th, 2011
1:14 pm

Worked like crazy to for the American dream. It can be done. This family didn’t wait for anything to be handed to them. Easy kid and family to pull for.

Ken Sugiura

April 20th, 2011
2:36 pm


April 20th, 2011
4:43 pm

The info is much appreciated. You mentioned your parents–I would be interested in knowing your/their story as well.


April 20th, 2011
10:12 pm

We need more players like this guy—motivated and passionate


April 21st, 2011
9:04 am

Good Coverage Ken. I appreciate the in depth look at things. You have done a great job of covering Tech this week. You have certainly out shined Mr Roberson and I hope the AJC leaves you on the Tech beat. I do wonder however why Tech baseball cant get a little more coverage or at least get its schedule, roster etc posted in place of the outdated basketball stats. That seasons over and would be better forgotten.

Thanks Ken

April 21st, 2011
8:52 pm

Who crapped in Jack Nicholson’s Cheerios?


April 22nd, 2011
1:20 pm

Great story, and I really appreciate you sharing this with us, Ken.


April 23rd, 2011
9:44 pm

That isn’t really Jack Nicholson. It’s Jack Torrance. Just ask Lloyd.