FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Tobenna Okeke is used to going through drills. Just not near a golf course.
“Man, what I thought golf was, I thought it was slow, that was my knowledge of what golf was,” he laughs. “It was slow, it’s an old man’s game, something that people retire with.”
Unlike football, which Tobenna Okeke played professionally as recently as last year as a linebacker for the Dallas Renegades in the XFL. He has also played in the AAF and, in 2018, he spent a few months in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.
That was after a four-year career at Fresno State.
“So, who recruited me was (former Fresno State defensive coordinator) Nick Toth,” said Okeke, who grew up in Texas. “With Fresno State, they were winning at the moment. They were No. 19 in the country. Derek Carr and them were just kicking butt and taking names. And I kinda wanted to be part of that.”
Now, he is part of The First Tee of Fresno. Okeke is the operations coordinator.
“Pretty much anything and everything, from running social media to helping coaching,” he said of his responsibilities. “You know, I’m called ‘jack of all trades.’ I think all sports kinda translates the same, you know? So, learning everything that I learned from just being patient, letting the game come to you, not forcing anything. All the skills that I’ve learned from playing football, basketball, track….I’m helping teach it to them.”
But somebody has to teach him!
That is the irony here: Tobenna Okeke works with young golfers, but the first time he picked up a golf club in his life was in January (four months ago).
“Watching ESPN, anytime golf came up, I definitely turned it off or switched to another channel. So, not really a big golfer before this,” he smiled.
“You know, I obviously wanted to be able to help the kids, being able to teach them. Not that I know a great deal, but being able to motivate them in any way possible. Just keep having passion in the game that they love.”