Clayton State's Gideon Oji in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd
Former Clayton State men's basketball student-athlete Gideon Oji (Imane-in-Koji, Nigeria) has become just the third Laker in the 25-year history of the program to be selected for Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd, appearing in the July 20, 2015 issue.
Oji, who has begun a career in the world of professional eating since completing his collegiate playing career, was featured following a 13th place finish at the Nathan's Famous Hotdog Eating Contest on the Fourth of July.
His section reads as follows:
"Oji, a 6'9" senior and former center for Division II Clayton State in Morrow, Ga., ate 16 hot dogs to win a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest qualifier in Charlotte; at the Coney Island main event he downed 19 to tie for 13th out of 16 competitors. Gideon, who averaged one point in 2014-15, was the only college athlete at the Major League Eating event."
Since beginning his professional career on Apr. 12 Oji has surged to a number 24 worldwide ranking. He finished second in his first ever competition (Nathan's Qualifier – Atlanta) by just one hot dog, third in the National Sweet Corn Eating Championship and won the Nathan's Charlotte qualifier to punch his ticket to Coney Island's nationally televised event on the Fourth of July. There he finished tied for 13th with 19 hot dogs and buns.
The native of Nigeria is just the third member of Clayton State Athletics to appear in Faces in the Crowd, joining cross country/track's Allison Kreutzer from the Dec. 29, 2008 issue and men's basketball's Corey Johnson, who appeared in the Feb. 12, 1996 issue.