Class of 1984
John Ndukwu was a mercurial three-sport athlete whose accomplishments have been kept alive through the years by the vivid memories they etched in the minds of teammates, rivals and fans.
In his one season of Green Wave football, John lent his hard-hitting defensive play to a 5-5 season, the best in a decade for the long-suffering NMHS gridiron program.
His breakaway potential wasn’t utilized to its utmost by the Green Wave offense, but John turned six pass receptions into touchdowns covering 29 yards or more.
His gridiron performances made enough of an impact that John earned all-Western Connecticut Conference laurels and all-state mention.
John’s exploits on the basketball court will be long remembered by anyone who saw him play. He often proved the high-flying catalyst to the Green Wave’s regular season records of 17-3 and 18-1 in his final two years.
His best games included an 18-point effort to lead a 58-54 upset of touted Dover Plains, N.Y. in the 1981 Joseph Wiser Holiday tournament title game. Perhaps his most memorable games were crowd-pleasing 30- and 28-point efforts to lead the Green Wave to Wiser wins the following two holiday seasons. For his contributions, John was chosen the tournament MVP all three years.
Shot-blocking, derring-do defensive plays and scoring were all part of John’s hard-court repertoire. Twice an all-Western Connecticut Conference selection, John averaged in double figures three straight seasons and completed his career deadlocked with Tom “Tucker” Burke, Class of 1970, for what was then the all-time NMHS scoring record of 935 points.
A sprinter with no WCC peer during his two Green Wave seasons, John earned all-WCC honors both years by winning the 100 meters and contributing to gold-medal 4 x 100 relays at the league meets.
He also lent long-jump ability and prowess at the 200 meters to the NMHS team effort. John often would win the 100 and 200 meters, the long jump and run a leg on the Green Wave’s quick 4 x 100-meter relay during regular season meets.
John capped both track seasons by rising to the occasion in state competition. He raced to respective 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the 100 meters at state class meets and 5th and 7th place honors at the prestigious state open meets.
John would go on to excel as a four-year letterman in basketball and two-year letterman in track & field at Northeastern University, yet not before having left his mark for posterity on the Green Wave sports landscape.