“Stand still and see what the Lord has in store.” From Exodus 14:13, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” This was the name gifted to Ekom-Abasi by his maternal grandparents. At birth, the name was prophetic, but it truly captured the very essence of Ekom. He was larger than life and one of a kind. As we stood by and watched, Ekom was a force that took on the world.

Ekom-Abasi Uko Benjamin Udofia was born on August 3, 1987 to Uko and Queensley Udofia, the youngest of their three children. Ekom was an outgoing child and gravitated to a wide variety of activities. He enjoyed singing in the church choir, and playing the drums and piano. He also developed a heart to serve early on, and volunteered for many projects to help the disadvantaged, locally and beyond his home base of Arizona. 

"The only area that matched Ekom’s heart for giving back was his athletic prowess"

From soccer to track to t-ball, Ekom’s skills were undeniable. When Ekom turned to football in high school, the sky once again became his limit. By the time he graduated, Ekom had led his high school team to the state championship with his brother, Udeme-Obong. Ekom was named to eight different All-American lists, and was widely regarded as the premier defensive tackle in the country prior to a severe ankle injury that caused him to miss the majority of his senior season. Ekom was also named the 2005 Watkins Award winner, an honor reserved for the top African-American male high school scholar-athlete in the country.

"Ekom was talented both on and off the field"

Ekom had numerous Division I scholarship offers to choose from, and after much consideration, he decided to attend Stanford University, providing himself with an elite level of athletics and academics. Attending Stanford also allowed him to follow in the footsteps of his sister, Aniebiet-Abasi, and to be reunited on the football field with his brother, Udeme, where they would again play side-by-side. While receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology and Society, and minoring in Economics, Ekom was also a four year starter and received several accolades. Although his dream was to play in the NFL, Ekom wanted to ensure that his educational background prepared him for life after football.

"Ekom desired to create deep relationships that could uplift others"

Following Stanford, Ekom was on track to achieve his ultimate goal. He was on the roster of NFL teams and played for the UFL and CFL before his body eventually betrayed him, with career ending knee surgery. While disappointed, Ekom was determined to live out the next phase of his life with the same singular dedication to excellence. He discovered that his true passions lay with uplifting others. He desired to create deep, meaningful relationships, and believed that by doing so, he could uplift others and create a message of hope. This led him to motivational speaking that took him to venues across the United States, Canada and Mexico. He also desired to engage his community locally, and to that extent, worked extensively with his local Akwa Ibom community as the Public Relations Officer, as well as participating in church outreach. Ekom also had a successful career in sales, due to his gregarious nature and easygoing spirit.


Ekom was known for his heart, his smile and laugh, and his generosity. If you looked in his closet and couldn’t find a shirt, or a pair of shoes, it was because he had literally given the items away. He had a unique ability to put anyone at ease and move comfortably between circles, making conversation on any topic. His life’s mission was that all would feel included, important and loved. He also recognized that this was especially important for former athletes who struggled with the transition away from the spotlight, glory and accolades. He understood the difficulties of redefining yourself when your identity has been so deeply intertwined with what you do, as opposed to who you are. Ekom cared about this so deeply that he planned to return to school with the ultimate goal of obtaining an MD/PhD and becoming a pediatrician focused on mental health.


At just 33 years of age, Ekom’s life was brief, but impactful. He will be dearly missed by his parents, Uko and Queensley Udofia, his sister Aniebiet Udofia, his brother-in-law Damien Alfred and his nephews, Kaleb and Micah Alfred, as well as his brother Udeme Udofia, his sister-in-law Kendall Udofia and his nephew and niece, Josiah and Kyla Udofia. He will also be missed by a host of other family and friends that knew and loved Ekom. Ekom-Abasi stems from the translation of Psalm 89:52, “Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen, and Amen.” We are all abundantly blessed to know Ekom and are honored that his legacy will continue on through us.

We aim to make difference in the lives of athletes both on and off the field. Join us as we remember Ekom and help save the next generation.