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On high schools: Late bloomer KZ Okpala of Esperanza has a rosy future

On high schools: Late bloomer KZ Okpala of Esperanza has a rosy future

Play dance music and 6-foot-8 KZ Okpala will dance. Hand him a basketball and he’ll dribble between his legs like a Harlem Globetrotter. Tell to him improvise and he’ll respond with a shot straight out of a game of H-O-R-S-E. There’s something unusual about Okpala’s skills.

It might be because he has grown 10 inches since he arrived at Anaheim Esperanza as a 5-10 freshman. Or that his parents are from Nigeria and taught him to never stop working hard. Or that he grew up learning the game from playing against 30-somethings at fitness clubs and on blacktops.

“I was always outside playing basketball, going to parks, playing in pickup games,” he said.

That explains...

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