Itode Fubara has been an outstanding student-athlete since arriving on ETSU’s campus in 2010. Fubara has not only proven that he has what it takes on the pitch but has been a model student and member of the community.
The senior midfielder has been selected as one of only ten finalists nationally for the Senior CLASS Award because of his efforts on and off the field. Fubara becomes the first player in the Buccaneers’ program history to reach the final stage of voting for the award.
Senior CLASS stands for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School” and honors the attributes of NCAA Division I senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character, and competition.
The Buccaneers’ Head Coach Scott Calabrese is glad to have a person like Itode on his team, “The things that he has been able to overcome and be such a strong role model is truly remarkable and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of an honor like the Senior CLASS award.”
Fubara grew up in Port Harcourt, Nigeria with a large family and had high hopes of playing collegiate soccer but nearly found his opportunity dashed before it even began. After agreeing to play at ETSU, Fubara was en route to the U.S. Embassy to try to obtain a visa when his bus was robbed at gunpoint. The bandits mugged each of the passengers on board, stealing Fubara’s backpack containing the necessary paperwork he needed at the U.S. Embassy. Thankfully for Fubara the backpack was later recovered by police and he was finally able to obtain his visa to allow him to join the Buccaneers’ squad.
“It’s a great achievement to play college soccer, I know my family is extremely proud of me,” Fubara said.
Aside from helping lead the Buccaneers to three consecutive seasons with 10 or more victories, including four wins over Top 25 opponents, Fubara has been an active member of the Johnson City community. Fubara has volunteered extensively with several local schools and youth organizations, including Town Acres Elementary School, the Hispanic-American Student Community Alliance, and ‘Sports 4 All.’
“At some point you have to give back to the community, you have to let the kids know that we are not just playing soccer,” Fubara said. “You can do so much with your life and I’m just trying to be a role model for the kids.”
Fubara, the 2010 Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, is the only ETSU player to ever eclipse the 6,000 minutes-played mark. The senior midfielder has twice been named to the All-Atlantic Sun First Team and ranks second in program history for career assists (12) and fourth for career goals (8).
“Fubi’s influence and impact for us is something that cannot be measured,” Calabrese explained. “He’s a player that everyone looks up to and inspires us all. He’s always willing to talk to the players and give them advice.”
As of Friday November 15th Fubara collected 25.3 percent of the fan vote in the Senior CLASS vote, sitting in second-place only by a tenth of a percent. Fan balloting counts for a third of the total in determining the Senior CLASS Award Winner, while the remaining two-thirds are determined by the NCAA Division I coaches and national media members. Voting for the Senior CLASS Award ends on November 25th. You can add your vote to push Fubara to first here: http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/mens_soccer_2013/