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All-County Boys Basketball: Obi quickly becomes a force

March 24, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Obi Enechionyia is the boys basketball Player of the Year
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Obi Enechionyia was playing for the D.C. United U-11 youth soccer team when a rapid growth spurt struck him.

It was around that time he shifted his focus from soccer to basketball. Nary a soul would question that decision.

Enechionyia burst onto the Washington County high school basketball scene this year. When it was over, the 6-foot-8 sophomore had produced some stellar numbers as he helped Saint James to a 17-10 record.

Enechionyia, a transfer from South County High School in Lorton, Va., averaged 17.5 points per game, the top number in the county. He averaged 12.4 rebounds and 5.7 blocks a game and shot 54 percent from the field, showing touch from inside and range from beyond the 3-point arc. He also shot 76 percent at the free throw line and posted a career-best 31-point game against Flint Hill.

Enechionyia is The Herald-Mail’s 2011-12 Washington County Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

“I loved soccer and I never really played basketball, but I just kept on growing,” said Enechionyia. "I figured it would be better to start playing basketball.”

Saint James coach Paul Easton could not be happier that he has Enechionyia on his roster.

“I saw him playing AAU ball and my mouth started watering when he decided to come here,” said Easton. “He is such an excellent athlete with huge potential. I knew he was a hard worker, but didn’t know how hard he really works.”

His work ethic comes from his own determination to round out his game.

“I was a perimeter player, but (Coach Easton) got me to be more aggressive, play defense,” said Enechionyia, who said he had modest goals at the beginning of the year.

“I wasn’t thinking any awards,” he said. “I thought 12 points and 10 rebounds were a goal.”

He became more comfortable adding a more solid post play to his repertoire, a good reason his numbers escalated.

“I became more comfortable with that,” he said.

Obi’s brother, Nnamdi, a junior, also came to Saint James and averaged 15.2 points per game.

Coaches around Washington County were in praise of Obi Enechionyia including Williamsport’s Scott Mowbray and Goretti’s Amrit Rayfield.

“He is by far the best player I saw this year,” said Mowbray. “His all-around game, to step out and to post inside. He’s a very talented player with an unlimited future with the full package, size and length.”

“He certainly has the ability to take over and change a game with his size, skill set and athleticism,” said Rayfield. “He is a matchup problem.”

Joining Enechionyia on the Herald-Mail All-County first team are:

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