UNLV pulled another shocker in the college basketball recruiting world Thursday when 6-foot-10, 224-pound shot-blocker deluxe Goodluck Okonoboh selected the Runnin’ Rebels over Indiana, Ohio State, Duke and Florida.
Okonoboh, rated the nation’s No. 21 overall prospect and No. 4 center prospect for the Class of 2014 by ESPN.com, made the announcement on ESPNU during halftime of the Western Kentucky-Louisiana-Monroe football game.
“I’m excited and elated, next year I’ll be attending the University of Las Vegas,” Okonoboh said while putting on a UNLV cap.
Okonoboh is the second 5-star recruit Dave Rice’s Runnin’ Rebels have landed for the Class of 2014, joining 6-foot-8 forward Dwayne Morgan of Baltimore, Md.
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“Just the relationship with Coach Rice,” Okonoboh said when asked why he selected the Rebels. “We built a great relationship on and off the court. They had the best blueprint for me. I’m just excited to be a Rebel man.”
Okonoboh, who attends Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Woburn, Mass., was asked if the fact Runnin’ Rebel Anthony Bennett was the No. 1 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft had any influence on his decision.
“I mean, that played a lot,” Okonoboh said. “But Anthony Bennett is Anthony Bennett, and I’m Goodluck Okonoboh, and that’s all I can be. We’ll see next year what happens.”
Okonoboh, an athletic big man who was regarded by some scouts as the nation’s top shot blocker, is expected to contend for the starting center spot in 2015 if/when Khem Birch leaves for the NBA as expected.
Okonoboh visited UNLV earlier this week after taking a trip to Ohio State where he and LeBron James took in the game between the Buckeyes and Badgers.
Check out his highlight mix tape above.
YOUNG REBEL NOTHING THEY CAN TELL ME !! #UNLV !!!
— Goodluck Okonoboh (@Goodlucko_12) October 4, 2013