« Men’s Basketball 2018-19

Michael Nzei

School

Seton Hall University

Position
Forward
Major
Master of Business Administration

Classroom

Michael Nzei has been a model student with a 3.56 GPA during his undergraduate career. He is a four-time member of the BIG EAST All-Academic team and was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma National Student-Athlete Honor Society as a junior. He completed his undergraduate work in May 2018 and graduated from Seton Hall with a bachelor’s degree in economics. This year, he is working toward his Master’s of Business Administration.

Character

Nzei is one of two team captains for Seton Hall in 2018-19. He is a natural leader and someone everyone looks up to because of his hard work. In addition to his basketball responsibilities, this past summer he worked at an internship with Cantor Fitzgerald in New York City learning finance and stock trading. His work ethic of being the first one to work and last one to leave has resonated with his teammates. The great thing about Nzei being a success in the classroom and in the workplace is that he only moved to the United States from his homeland of Nigeria in 2012 and had to adapt to the language and cultures. It was the same year that he had to overcome the death of his father, who passed when Nzei was 17.

Community

Nzei has been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) all five of his years at Seton Hall and has been influential in leading the committee’s initiatives. He in particular has been a great participant in Seton Hall’s Pen Pal Program, which helps establish relationships with at-risk children through writing letters and then playing sports with the children at the end of the year. Nzei also has a deep connection with his Nigerian roots. He is involved with GFifty20 Outreach group, which sent him and others to an impoverished section of South Florida, where he discussed the importance of faith and academics while conducting basketball clinics with local children. In addition, Nzei collected donated gear and shoes from the Seton Hall community and transported them back to Nigeria during a home visit.

Competition

Nzei entered the 2018-19 season having played 101 career games over three seasons for Seton Hall. In that span, the Pirates’ record was 68-33 with three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the program’s first NCAA win since 2004 and its first BIG EAST Tournament championship since 1993. This season, he will have the opportunity to become only the third student-athlete in Seton Hall history to appear in four straight NCAA Tournaments. Nzei is one of the best rebounders in the BIG EAST and enters the 2018-19 season as the leading returner in offensive rebounding percentage. (He grabs an offensive rebound in 10 percent of the opportunities.)

*All stats as of nomination time.