ISU's Okoro plays through family tragedy

LUKE MEREDITH AP Sports Writer Published:

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Nkereuwem Okoro rose and let the ball fly from his fingertips, just like he had countless times while playing with his brother Idiongo in the Bronx.

Okoro's teammates leapt with joy when his shot went in, and the Iowa State fans who had waited out a blowout victory reacted as if Okoro had won the game at the buzzer.

It was a meaningless 3-pointer, yet it meant everything to Okoro.

It was the first career 3 for the 19-year-old Iowa State freshman guard who goes by Kerwin, and it gave him a brief respite from a pair of family tragedies even as it capped an 87-53 victory over TCU on Saturday.

It was the first action since December for Okoro, who had just returned from Idiongo's funeral in New York. His death at 28 from colon cancer came two months after their 72-year-old father, Stanislaus Okoro, died of a stroke, Okoro said.