The No. 2 high school boys’ basketball player in Connecticut has decided to attend Rice University.
Sean Obi became the fifth member of the Owls 2013-2014 freshman class when he recently signed a letter of intent to play for Rice.
The 6-9, 245-pound forward is a native of Kaduna, Nigeria. He has attended school and played basketball the past two years at Green Farms Academy in Connecticut. As a junior, Obi scored an average of 18 points a game and grabbed an astounding 20 rebounds per contest. He has notched 45 straight double-doubles.
“Rice is such a wonderful school and everyone has been so supportive,” Obi said. “I am looking forward to playing for Rice.”
Obi has lived in Greenwich with the family of his teammate Hunter Eggers since 2010.
“This is a marvelous opportunity for Sean,” Steven and Bobbi Eggers told the Greenwich Post. “To be able to come from Kaduna, Nigeria, go through high school at Green Farms and now go to this outstanding university is the stuff dreams are made of. He has worked hard for this and he deserves to have the brilliant future that lies ahead.”
The story of how Obi got to the United State is a bit reminiscent of the “Blind Side.” An article by Jill Johnson in Greenwich magazine details how Steven, an oil trader, heard about Obi through a friend and business associate in Nigeria.
“I’m in Africa all of the time for business,” he said in the article. “I play basketball in my downtime. One of my friends in Kaduna called me up and said, ‘Steve, I have the next LeBron James. He’s really talented and smart. He’s not going to get the education he needs here.’”
While you can guess what happened next, it’s worth reading the magazine article for the whole story.
Obi helped lead Green Farms to an 18-5 record last season. He is ranked by ESPN.com as the second-best player in Connecticut. According to the ESPN’s scouting report, Obi is a wide-bodied space-eating center who occupies space in the paint and is physical by nature. He loves to drop-step over his left shoulder, goes right into contact and can muscle his way through it.
“Sean is a tremendous presence in the post,” said Rice coach Ben Braun, in a news release. “He is an exceptional rebounder and consummate team player. He is also an outstanding young man and excellent student who will greatly impact our program.”
Rice’s other incoming freshman next school year will be 6-10 center Andrew Drone, 6-8 forward Denzel Davis, 6-5 wing Drew Bender and 6-3 guard Marcus Jackson.
The Owls have gotten off to a 1-5 start this season, though they were competitive in losses to Georgia Tech, Drake and Drexel at the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, Calif. over Thanksgiving weekend.
Rice will host Houston Baptist at 7 p.m. Saturday.