Data News weekly Trailblazer: Helping Make Big Dreams Come True: Brandon Okpalobi by Elise Schenck

Young people today face many obstacles to achieve greatness and reaching their full potential. Oftentimes this is because of a lack of role models. Brandon Okpalobi, a New Orleans native who now calls Miami, Florida home is a shining example of someone that’s spent his life committed to reaching greatness as an individual in addition to being a community servant inspiring and encouraging people across the globe in making their dreams a reality.

Early in Brandon’s life, he was given a recipe for success where his vision could be realized through staying focused and taking a disciplined approach to reach his goals. These seeds were firmly planted in him by his parents and others who helped raise him. Recalling their impact he says, “They say, it takes a village to raise a child, and I am a living testament. My parents, extended family and elders in my community helped me stay on the straight path. I would not be who I am without the unconditional love, support and structure of my parents. My father, Chief Ochendo Chuka Okpalobi, is Nigerian and ruled with an “iron thumb.” and my mother Calla Victoria, a native New Orleanian who was stern, but allowed me to have fun. It is the mix of my parents and community that’s really shaped me into the man I am today.”

He is a graduate of St. Augustine High School, an institution with a rich legacy of turning out young men who become civic, community and business leaders. While a student there Brandon played on the basketball team, he says of his experience as an athlete and the lessons he learned there he has applied to other areas of his life. An example of his fortitude, perseverance, and persistence is after applying to five colleges the University of Miami offered him a partial academic scholarship. Determined to play on the basketball he tried out for the team and received a full scholarship, eventually, becoming the captain of the team in his senior year. Not only did he standout on the court, but also as a student earning a degree in Computer Information Systems.

Brandon Okpalobi’s story exemplifies that with hard work anything is possible. It is the motivation behind his company, DIBIA Athletic Program, that he describes as “Providing elite sports training for athletes to develop fundamental skills through detailed analysis of individual skills, innovative drills and dynamic instruction. Our intense training program is designed for boys and girls, ranging from age 7 to professional athletes. DIBIA trains athletes worldwide and hosts camps/clinics in Miami, New Orleans, LA, Bermuda, Bahamas, Latin America and Nigeria.” Also Mr. Okpalobi has designed a complete line of sports gear which is available on his website

He speaks passionately about DREAM which is DIBIA’s community outreach initiative. “We bridge their desire for excellence, leadership and sports to educate youth on other essential core value systems. We translate the skills that are required to win in sports into skills that are required to win at life. This allows for the development of a blueprint for success, in language young athletes understand.”