Men’s Basketball Signs Collins Okafor





Men’s Basketball Signs Collins Okafor

4/14/2004

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa has announced that Collins Okafor, a 6’7, 225-pound forward from Lagos, Nigeria, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Thundering Herd in the fall of 2004. Okafor is the fifth player to sign with Marshall this year.

Okafor joins Ryan Lamb of Hiram, Ga., Joe Miles of Forestville, Md., Casey Wohlleb of Boca Raton, Fla., and Jesse Oglesby of Lithonia, Ga., to complete Jirsa’s first recruiting class as head coach of the Herd.

“We’re off to a good start personnel-wise with this class,” said Jirsa. “These are five people that are extremely talented and truly have a real enthusiasm for the game of basketball. They are skilled, young players with a great future ahead.”

Okafor averaged 10 points and eight rebounds during the first half of his junior season at Countryside High School in Clearwater, Fla., in 2002-03. He suffered a shoulder injury that forced him out of action the rest of the year. He did not play his senior year at Countryside after the Florida High School Association ruled him ineligible because of an administrative error.

Okafor was a part of group of four Nigerian National Team players to come to the United States to play basketball two years ago.

“Collins has a tremendous upside,” said Jirsa. “He’s 6’7 with no shoes on, he has quick feet, and the ability to use both hands. He is a mature, determined individual who is also a great student in the classroom. We’re looking forward to working with him and the rest of our class.”

Next season’s team will include five seniors, five freshmen, two juniors, and one sophomore.

“We will have a mix of players that have been exposed to the system and young players that are eager to make their mark on college basketball,” Jirsa said.