Grayville High School in Grayville, Tennessee never had a black basketball player. Now GHS has three. A new doctor moved to Grayville in August of 2020. Dr. Bokima has three sons who played basketball for Weston, Ohio High School last year and the three took Weston to the Ohio State High School basketball tournament championship. Joseph, a senior, and oldest of the three, is six feet nine inches tall and was named Most Valuable Player of the Ohio State Basketball Tournament. The other two sons are twins, Samuel and David, both juniors, are six feet six inches tall.
Dr. Hiram Bokima is from Nigeria. He was orphaned at the age of eight when his mother died of AIDS two weeks after his eighth birthday. Prior to his mother’s death, just after his seventh birthday, his father also died of AIDS. He was adopted by a United Church of Christ missionary to Nigeria, Rev. Dr. William Norris and his wife, Betty.The Bokima family were members of Rev. Norris’s church in the village of Opaka, Nigeria. Opaka is one of the most poverty-stricken areas of Nigeria. Rev. Norris fielded a team of agricultural experts in the area of irrigation. That was one of his first tasks as missionary, to help the indigenous develop resources for planting and growing.
Dr. Bokima, at six feet ten inches tall, played center on the Nigerian National Basketball Team during his high school years. He became very close to his adoptive parents. Rev. and Mrs. Norris contributed a great deal to the maturity and growth of Hiram. He excelled in academics and began to have a vision for himself. That vision was fulfilled as he came to America and attended Temple University where he was a pre-med major and a basketball All American his senior year.
Dr. Bokima attended John Hopkins University Medical School and did his internship at the Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He left a successful practice in Weston, Ohio to move to Grayville to be near his parents who are both dealing with declining health issues due to aging. His parents retired to the Homeland Retirement Center in Pleasant Hill, just outside Grayville.