Advertisement

Saints' Enechionyia commits to Temple

September 09, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

ST. JAMES — Confronted with a college visitation schedule that would set his course for four years following graduation from high school, Obi Enechionyia made his choice where he will continue his academic and basketball affairs.

The 6-foot-8 Saint James senior made a verbal commitment to Temple University, choosing the Philadelphia school immediately following his weekend visit rather than wait and make other visits.

“I wanted to get the process done,” Enechionyia said. “I enjoyed the campus and it is a city kind of atmosphere. It was the fourth time I’ve been there and I always feel comfortable.”

Temple coach Fran Dunphy made several visits to watch Enechionyia, including summer basketball with Team Takeover of Washington, D.C., where he played with St. Maria Goretti’s Martin Geben, who just gave his verbal to Notre Dame.

Enechionyia had about 20 offers on the table and planned on visits to Georgia Tech and Miami after Temple, but those will be cut off with his decision.

The Herald-Mail Washington County Player of the Year in 2012 as a sophomore, Enechionyia has gained about 10 pounds to get to 215 pounds and plans on more, looking to get stronger for his senior season at Saint James.

“Now I can focus on this season without the recruiting,” Enechionyia said. “It was nervous at times last season playing with coaches in the stands.”

Last season, Enechionyia averaged 19 points and 12.7 rebounds a game after averaging 17 points with 12 rebounds as a sophomore.

Enechionyia hit the Temple campus on Thursday and went bowling with basketball team members. On Friday, he toured the campus with his parents, met the university president and then had dinner with Dunphy and players, followed by Saturday’s football game.

He made his decision Sunday afternoon with a call to Dunphy.

Enechionyia came to Saint James from South County (Va.) High School for his sophomore season under coach Paul Easton, who resigned following the 2012-13 season.

“Going D-1 is great, well-earned on his part,” said Easton. “He improved so much, has lots of ability and did all his work in the gym. Temple is getting a great young man and player.”

Dan Prete, the new Saint James coach, will reap the talents of his senior.

“I’m excited to have Obi as part of the program,” said Prete. “Obviously he will be our leader and we will look for him to lead us in mental parts of the game.”

For a 6-foot-2 soccer player as an eight-grader, Enechionyia blossomed and began playing basketball.

“I started playing basketball in eighth grade and as I kept going, I knew I wanted to play in college,” Enechionyia said. “I wasn’t thinking anything like a scholarship at that time.”

Enechionyia will sign on the dotted line during the NCAA national signing period in November.

Temple now competes in the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East).

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|