« Volleyball 2020-21

Chinaza Ndee

School

University of Pittsburgh

Position
Right Side/Middle Blocker
Major
Natural Sciences and Psychology

Classroom

Since her arrival at the University of Pittsburgh in 2017, Chinaza Ndee has committed herself to her dream of attending medical school following her undergraduate career. While maintaining a 3.6 cumulative grade point average as a double major in natural sciences and psychology, Ndee has also pursued a certificate in conceptual foundations of medicine.

Over the last four years, she has earned two selections to the All-ACC Volleyball Academic Team (2017, 2019) and is a three-time member of the ACC Honor Roll (2018, 2019, 2020). With Ndee on the squad, Pittsburgh has earned three consecutive Team Academic Awards from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) – the longest streak in program history (2018-20).

On top of her commitments to her studies and training, Ndee furthered her ambitions by working in her chosen field. She assists with research for the Pitt Parents and Children Laboratory, working on projects such as the Smart Beginnings Study, Video Interaction Project, and Early Steps Multisite Study.

Ndee has also pursued shadowing opportunities, working with UPMC Sports Medicine’s Dr. Freddie Fu, M.D., and Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, M.D. of Texas Children’s Pediatrics – Piney Point.

Character

A consistent starter since her freshman year, Chinaza Ndee was named a captain for her senior season in 2020. Amid one of the most challenging times ever for intercollegiate sports, Ndee helped to unite her team despite being separated across different states, countries, and time zones for the better part of 2020.

Before the Panthers were able to return to campus, Ndee and co-captain Kayla Lund organized weekly workouts and meetings over Zoom to help the Panthers stay connected while apart during the spring and summer months.

Ndee, who chose to use her platform to bring awareness to the fight for social justice, publicly discussed her personal experiences with racism and inequality in multiple interviews. She also led internal discussions with her teammates about antiracism and how we can all do better in the fight for equality. Even though Ndee was unable to vote because she was born in Nigeria, she got involved in voting awareness campaigns, especially Pittsburgh’s initiative, Voting Matters.

Community

Chinaza Ndee’s ambition to help others is highlighted by her commitment to community service. During the period of lockdown from March to September 2020, Ndee volunteered as a Care and Connection Caller, aiding Pittsburgh’s Hill District Consensus Group and Neighborhood Resilience Project. She reached out to Pittsburgh’s underprivileged residents to inform them of resources for food, medication, and finances while checking on their health and general wellness.

Additionally, she worked with RentHelpPGH and assisted Pittsburgh residents in completing their CARES Rent Relief Program application so they would be able to receive financial assistance and pay their rent.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Ndee volunteered at the Ben Taub Hospital in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She gained experience in multiple areas, including in the Emergency Center, Nursing Unit, GI Lab, and Post-Anesthesia Care units. She coordinated with hospital staff to ensure bedside tables and emergency operating rooms were continuously stocked with basic medical supplies.

More of Ndee’s duties included transporting patients from post operation rooms to other hospital departments or patient discharge areas, as well as responding to phone calls at the Nursing Unit.

Competition

As a member of one of Pittsburgh’s top recruiting classes in history, Chinaza Ndee made an immediate impact on the Panthers’ rise in national prominence over the last four years. She has played in all but five frames during her career, totaling 368 set appearances for Pittsburgh. Since Ndee’s arrival in Oakland, Pittsburgh has won three consecutive ACC Championships (2017, 2018, 2019), with the Panthers clinching bids to the NCAA Tournament each year.

During her junior season in 2019, the Panthers reached a program pinnacle with a No. 6 seed selection for the tournament. That same year she earned AVCA All-America honorable mention honors, in addition to selections to the East Coast All-Region Team and the All-ACC first team. She was second on the team with 2.85 on .296 hitting and 0.98 blocks per set.

Entering the 2020 season, Ndee ranks in Pittsburgh’s all-time top 10 for block assists (sixth, 299) and total blocks (10th, 310). Her consistency on the right side as both a blocker and attacker are key for the Panthers, however, her flexibility makes her truly dangerous on the court. She has proven to be competitive in multiple positions, playing as a middle during her freshman year, when she was named to the All-ACC freshman team, in addition to being named ACC Freshman of the Week twice. Her name will be featured in the Panthers’ record book long after her career ends at Pittsburgh.