Kachi Nzeh’s always been running.
Not from anything, but towards something.
“I ran pretty much my whole life,” said Nzeh. “I won the junior Olympics when I was in the eighth grade in the 400-meter dash.”
The following year, Nzeh had a growth spurt.
“I kept getting hurt because I was growing a lot,” said Nzeh, who shot up to around 6-foot-7.
He injured his hip, then his groin, “Then I got invited to indoor nationals and a few Strides in at the start, I hurt my hip again, so I didn’t know what to do. My mom was like, ‘You’ re 6-7, why are you running track? Play basketball, at least try, give it a shot.'”
So they did.
As a sophomore at the George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Nzeh tried out for the basketball team and made it.
“Everything starts from there,” they said.
In roughly three years of playing competitive basketball, Nzeh transformed from a sprinter into a 6-foot-8 center with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, garnering 14 Division I Scholarship offers from high-major programs.
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One of those programs that offered Nzeh was Xavier. This summer, David Miller, one of Xavier’s assistant coaches, was out on a recruiting trip.
“He was there for somebody else but he had just caught me playing and thought I played really well and he thought that Coach Sean Miller should come see me play,” said Nzeh.
Xavier’s recruitment of Nzeh picked up in July when the Musketeers made him a Scholarship offer. In August, the relationship strengthened.
“In August, they started talking to me every day, started talking to Coach a lot,” said Nzeh, who took an official visit to Xavier over the first weekend of September.
Nzeh committed to Xavier on September 8. They said it was a tough process to get there, nit-picking the little things, and evaluating the details.
Ultimately, what swayed him was the final conversation he had with Sean Miller on his visit.
“I resorted back to the last conversation I had with coach. The last day of my visit, he was like, ‘You gotta run to competition. You gotta believe in yourself that you can succeed,'” Nzeh said.
“I was like, you know what, he believes in. He told me the plan he has for me. Cintas Center is beautiful. Xavier is beautiful … so why not? This could really be a home for me.”
With his decision, Nzeh becomes the fourth commit in Xavier’s 2023 recruiting class.
So, what type of player are the Musketeers getting?
“I’m a competitor. I’m an energy guy. I’m athletic. I can shoot the ball. I’m a team player. I’ll do whatever I have to do to win,” said Nzeh, who paused Briefly and then offered maybe the most essential depiction of what he’ll bring to Xavier.
“It’s never about me. This is about how can I help my team get to where we need to get to.”
Nzeh’s not afraid of the work, either.
“I’m in the gym at 5 am, three times a day as much as I can to improve myself so my team can count on me,” he said.
Off the court, Nzeh said he’s laid back and humble.
“I never take anything for granted,” said Nzeh. “I just want to be myself, wherever I am, on and off the court. What they have is someone who’s going to show the fans respect and go out and perform and put on a show because they deserve it.”
Nzeh’s joining a top-10 national recruiting class at Xavier in 2023 alongside Trey Green, Reid Ducharme and Dailyn Swain. That was also something he put a lot of thought into.
“I have a lot of respect for the guys who are going to Xavier. I have a lot of respect for their games,” said Nzeh. “Give credit to Sean Miller, he believes in us. He believes in the guys he recruits, he believes in himself, he believes in his staff, and he knows that he can develop us into some big-time guys.”