INDIANAPOLIS (WNCN) – Believe it or not, Coach K was not the most popular person at Friday’s Duke practice. It wasn’t even a Duke player.
The most popular person at practice was a dad.
Duke fans can’t get enough of Chucky Okafor, the father of Blue Devil’s star center Jahlil Okafor. And at Friday’s practice ahead of Duke’s Saturday match-up with Michigan State in the Final Four, the elder Okafor was flocked by people wanting to take a picture with dear old dad.
“It’s been magnificent,” Okafor said.
Chucky Okafor knew the day would come when he would fly from city to city to watch his son star on the basketball court. “It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “I say all the time that I told him when he was growing up that he was destined for greatness. But to see it come to fruition, it’s a magnificent blessing.”
The Okafors aren’t just seeing it “come to fruition,” they also take every opportunity to attend the games in style — wearing matching shirts with Jahlil’s likeness. The Duke freshman said he never knows what to expect from his family from game to game.
“He’s had so many shirts,” the 19-year-old said. “My uncle, my aunt and my sister are bringing one down to Indianapolis. They kind of ruined it for me, but I think she’s bringing a shirt with [a picture of] me in diapers.”
Chucky Okafor, though, say’s his son has no idea.
“He thinks he knows, but he doesn’t,” Okafor said. “I heard him tell somebody he thinks we’ll have his baby picture. So I’ve got something else for him.”
Jokes aside, it’s been quite a ride for the Okafor family, and Chucky Okafor hopes it doesn’t end Saturday night.
“To get to this point and still have a chance to go ahead and continue to play until Monday is phenomenal,” Okafor said.
The Blue Devils and Spartans play Saturday at 6:09 p.m.
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