AKRON, Ohio (KDKA) — At seven-feet tall with a 7-5 wingspan, McKeesport native Zeke Marshall has become a force at the University of Akron.
He led the Zips this season to a MAC championship, averaging 13 points, seven rebounds per game and a school record 109 blocks for the year.
“I have the mindset where I’m gonna dominate,” Zeke recently told KDKA-TV Sports.
But if Zeke – whose games are visited by NBA scouts and agents – hopes to make it to the next level, he’s going to need to add some attitude.
“There’s no doubt about it, Zeke’s a sweetheart,” says Keith Dambrot, Akron’s head coach. “And sometimes being a sweetheart has hurt him; but in the long run, I’ll take a guy like Zeke Marshall any day of the week.”
“That’s who I am,” Marshall says, “but I’m slowly trying to develop the mentality where I’m calm, but there’s a fire.”
As good as Zeke has become at basketball, he says it’s not his first love – computers are, which is one of the reasons why Zeke wound up at Akron and not somewhere closer to home like Pitt.
“I always loved computers,” he says. “I knew for a long, long time I wanted to go to college for computers. I really enjoy it, I always say, it’s my first love. Even though now basketball has taken over, that’s always been my first love.”
That didn’t stop folks from back home from trying to get him to stay close to home.
“A lot of people were pushing, saying ‘Go to Pitt, go to Pitt. You should go to Pitt.’ I don’t regret the decision. I’m happy with what I did. I’m glad I got out of Pittsburgh and met other people,” he said.
Dambrot agrees it was a good decision.
“I’d say 99 out of a 100 or 999 out of a thousand wouldn’t come to Akron,” he said. “But Zeke knew himself, his family knew what was good for him and it turned out to be a good deal for him.”
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