Duby Okeke (pronounced Doobie Okay-Kay) provides Nebraska with a true rim protector the Huskers have lacked in recent seasons. A 6-foot-8, 247-pound center, Okeke possesses a 7-foot-5 wingspan and is one of the nation's top returning shot blockers. He established school marks for blocks in a season (72; 2015-16) and career (165) at Winthrop, as his career blocked shot total ranks sixth among returning Division I players in 2017-18. Okeke, who graduated from Winthrop last May, finished his Winthrop career at the school with three of the top-nine single-season block totals in school history.
Okeke also adds some experience in the frontcourt, as he played in 94 career games at Winthrop, helping the school reach the NCAA Tournament last season. Okeke is an efficient offensive rebounder who works hard at his craft and keeps improving in the gym. He combines with sophomore Jordy Tshimanga to give the Huskers a solid 1-2 punch in the middle.
Okeke spent the previous four seasons at Winthrop for Coach Pat Kelsey, helping the school post a 68-29 record in that span, including a 26-7 mark in 2016-17 when the Eagles won the Big South Tournament title and reached the NCAA Tournament.
Okeke played in all 33 games in 2016-17, including 24 starts, to help Winthrop to a 26-7 mark and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons. He shot 61 percent from the field while adding 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, as he was fourth in the Big South in blocked shots. Okeke totaled a season-high nine points and five rebounds against Florida State and grabbed a season-best nine boards against Manhattan. He also had 14 games with at least two blocked shots, including a season-high four on two occasions to help Winthrop lead the Big South in field goal percentage defense (.408).
As a sophomore, Okeke led the Big South in blocked shots at 2.5 per game, a total which ranked 20th nationally. That season, he also set personal bests in both scoring (4.9 ppg) and rebounding (4.8 rpg), as Winthrop was second in the conference in field goal percentage defense. He reached double figures five times, while shooting 64 percent from the field. Okeke also had 21 games with at least two blocks despite not starting a single game in 2015-16.
During his redshirt freshman campaign, Okeke played 31 games, averaging 4.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He was third in the Big South in blocked shots per game (1.4 bpg) while totaling three or more blocks on eight occasions. He had a career-high 13 points and five blocked shots vs. Presbyterian on Jan. 8.
Playing for Jonesboro High School and Coach Dan Maehlman, Okeke averaged 10 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game, as he was named honorable mention all-state in Class 4A as a senior in 2013. He also was a first-team 4A all-region selection as a senior and a member of the 2013 GACA South All-Star Team. He was a three-year performer who helped Jonesboro reach the Georgia Class 4A Final Four in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and Sweet 16 appearance in 2012-13.
Duby is the son of Queen and Victor Okeke and was born on Nov. 25, 1994, in Riverdale, Ga. Duby has one brother, Obum, and two sisters, Ada and Juju. Okeke received his degree in sport management at Winthrop in May of 2017 and is currently working on his master's degree.
* Statistics from prior team/school