A former basketball player for the University of Wyoming and a native of Nigeria, Udezue came to the U.S. at 15 with no aspirations of being a professional sports agent.
“I never dreamed I would be where I am today,” he said during his speech.
Udezue discussed in depth about the changing landscape of the NBA in today’s world economy.
He said that the global market allows for integration of both cultures and currency and that a connection between two countries like China and the U.S. is beneficial for all involved. He also discussed how being from Africa has helped him to better understand the importance of international relations.
“The world economy is shrinking,” he said. “Players like Yao Ming and Hasheem Thabeet help to connect an avenue between countries that create new revenue and connect cultures.”
He also discussed the cutthroat nature of the world of professional agents.
He said though there is some truth in Hollywood interpretations in shows like “Entourage” and movies like “Jerry Maguire.”
However, there is more to the business that most people never see.
He used the example of young players in high school being courted by companies from a young age and how they have “had companies getting close to them since probably the 9th grade.”
Joby Wright, a graduate adviser to HSBO, said he was excited to have someone who would speak so plainly and honestly to students.
“It was great to get his honest perspective on the business and just how cutthroat it
is,” Wright said. “He exemplifies what is good about the sports industry.”
Another student in attendance, junior Jeff Bedford, has known about Udezue since Udezue played at the University of Wyoming. As a Wyoming resident, Bedford watched Udezue when he was a child and said it was a no-brainer to go see him when he found out he was coming to IU.
“I knew I had to go when I saw the flyer,” he said. “He was very charismatic and kept us interested the whole time. He just did a great job of letting students know what they’re getting in to.”
Another HSBO graduate adviser, Cara Wright, said speakers such as Udezue are vital to the growth of students and their