Chidi Udengwu is a second-generation Nigerian immigrant and the third of three children to his parents, Mary and Chidi Sr. He was born and raised in Diamond Bar, California.
Chidi got his start in the world of basketball as a member of the Idaho State College’s basketball team. Soon afterwards, he was endorsed by a specialist and landed himself a spot in the 2020 NBA draft.
Before really beginning his career at Idaho State, Chidi faced a great deal of challenges early in life as an aspiring basketball player. In both years of middle school, he was cut from the basketball team, and in high school he didn’t make the varsity team until his senior year. However, he was able to use these challenges to motivate himself to do even better.
His biggest challenge in his career came about during his first year at Idaho State. Despite the fact that he nearly achieved the title of “State Player of the Year” at his previous alma mater, San Bernardino Valley College, and despite the fact that his coach at Idaho State promised him that he would be a star player, he ended up being benched for most of the season. Most players in this situation would have simply quit, and in fact his coach tried to convince him to do so, but Chidi refused. As Chidi himself states, “adversity doesn’t set me back, it propels me forward.”
Luckily for Chidi, his coach got fired after the season and a more reasonable one took his place, which gave Chidi one summer to prove himself as a talented player before the start of his senior year. During his struggle for success, there were plenty of
times where he considered just giving up, but he would always reflect back on
his parents and how they never gave up or took any half-measures when raising
their three kids while being first-generation immigrants. The effort his
parents put into raising his family helped motivate him to put the same effort into his basketball game.
Chidi’s main goal within the next two years is to finally play with the NBA or at the very least the G-League as the first Nigerian player from his home state of Enugu. Outside of
the sport of basketball, his primary goal is to help bridge the culture gap between Nigerian and American youth.
Most others who have worked with Chidi during his sporting career have described him as being extremely cooperative, as well as an individual with much drive and perseverance. Truly, Chidi’s drive to succeed can be described as “machine-like”; he never gives up trying to achieve his goals, no matter what.
Chidi spends much of his free time outside of the basketball court hosting his podcast, ChitChatWithChidi. Available on YouTube, Chidi uses this podcast to talk about his life and career, as well as to conduct interviews with a variety of guests.