‘I wish I could put it into words’: Ikem Ekwonu’s parents recall draft night excitement

CHARLOTTE — The moment the Carolina Panthers selected Ikem Ekwonu in the 2022 NFL Draft is something he and his family will never forget.

Like many, they thought the Panthers were going to draft a quarterback with the sixth pick. It seemed far more likely that he would be a New York Jet, or New York Giant.

But both teams passed, leaving the Panthers on the clock at pick six. And the night that followed wasn’t anything like the Ekwonus imagined it would be.

“Everything, from shaking the commissioner’s hand, I didn’t see that,” said Ekwonu’s father, TJ Ekwonu. “I was just so excited and we were cheering and hugging each other, looking at phone calls coming in and texts coming in and all that stuff.”

>> In the video at the top of the page, Channel 9 Sports Director Phil Orban speaks with Ekwonu’s parents about how it felt for them as they watched the night progress.

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