Choosing a school because of the academics is many times a throwaway line for elite college basketball prospects, but that isn’t the case with Corona (Calif.) Centennial 2016 big man Ike Anigbogu.
“Academics will play a big role in where Ike goes,” said Anigbogu’s coach, Josh Giles. “His parents are from Nigeria, and, honestly, basketball is something they don’t totally understand, but they certainly understand how important academics are.”
Anigbogu has rare gifts on the basketball courts.
“He’s easily the most proportioned, strongest kid I’ve ever coached," Giles said. "He has no clue how strong he is. He really doesn’t. Once he figures that out he’s going to be impossible for anyone to defend. Add in the fact that he is a surprisingly good athlete and you’ve got a kid who can literally be as good as he wants to be.
“He was incredibly raw when we first got him. Basic things like dribbling, posting up and turning to the hoop were things that just didn’t come naturally to him.
"He worked on everything and you see the monster that he is the process of becoming. What’s scary though is he hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he can do.”
The four-star center has an idea of where he might look to play college basketball.
“He wants to go to some place where he can play right away and a system that will set him up to be successful," Giles said. "That’s why UCLA, Arizona and Stanford have made a solid initial impression on him.
"All three are good basketball schools and are places that have solid academic credentials. He’s for sure a ways off from making a decision, but he has some pretty good offers.”