Name: Regina Okoye
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico
High School: El Dorado HS
Weber State University women’s basketball guard Regina Okoye is this week’s Signpost Student-Athlete of the Week after setting the team career steals record against Montana.
“I’m proud of myself,” Okoye said on breaking the record. “But at the same time I need to keep growing and adding to my game.”
In the Wildcats’ loss to Idaho earlier this month, Okoye recorded her record-tying 214th career steal. She then broke the 31-year-old record set by former Wildcat Karleen Peart in the Wildcats’ next game when they lost to Montana. After the Wildcats’ loss on the road at Montana State, Okoye now has 226 career steals and 66 steals this season.
“Gina does a terrific job of anticipating,” said head coach Bethann Ord. “I’ve had a lot of players that were good at anticipating, but I’d say Gina is in my top two—the other one is an Olympian.”
Okoye currently leads the nation in steals, averaging 4.4 per game. Of all players to have played in at least 75 percent of their team’s games, she is the only player in Division I women’s basketball currently averaging more than four steals per game.
In the Wildcats’ match against San Diego earlier this season, Okoye broke the school single-game steals record with 10 steals. Her 10 steals broke the previous record that she had set when she recorded nine steals against Montana-Western last season.
Not only has Okoye set the Weber State career and single-game steals records this season, but she is also on pace to set the single-season steals record as well. Okoye is on pace currently to make 128 steals this season, which would shatter the current record of 101.
Currently, her career-high comes from her freshman year with the Wildcats, when she recorded 82 steals—the second-highest season total in WSU history. She also holds the third-highest single season total with 78 steals from last season, and with 66 steals so far this season she has the fifth-highest total in team history. If Okoye reaches 128 steals, that would also set the conference record for steals in a single season.
Okoye and Ord both give credit to the rest of the team for the pressure that they put up on defense. Ord said that because Okoye’s teammates are able to keep the pressure on defense high against their opponents, it gives Okoye the opportunities to make the steals. Along with the help that she gets from her teammates, Okoye also points out there is another reason for her success.
“I have long arms that come in handy, and that helps,” she said.
Okoye will look to build on her record-setting season on Saturday as the Wildcats host Southern Utah University at the Dee Events Center at 2 p.m.