"I liked the weather a lot," Nwankwo said. "So that's when I started thinking about going west."
Nwankwo lists Arizona, Stanford, Miami, UConn, Georgia Tech and Virginia. He's already taken his official visits to Stanford (January) and Miami (April) and will take an unofficial to Virginia later this month. He's still undecided about visiting UConn and Georgia Tech.
"Arizona is probably the leader," Nwankwo said when asked if he had a leader. "They've been coming hard lately, but Stanford is right there too."
Like most players from the east, Nwankwo has always been a college basketball fan and grew up following Duke (didn't every kid?) However, Duke never has shown him any interest, but that's never bothered him.
"In the early 90s I was a Duke fan," Nwankwo said. "They won back-to-back (NCAA) titles, so they were my team back then. But I'm really not much of Duke fan now because they've become more of guard oriented team and don't involve their big men that much."
Nwankwo will arrive in Tucson Thursday night, tour the campus Friday and take in the Oregon football game on Saturday. He has a list of questions to ask the players and coaching staff, but he is also concerned with the campus environment.
"I'm looking at the style of play and how I fit in with the players and coaches," Nwankwo said. "But I also want to see how I blend in with the students."
Nwankwo is a very good student and Stanford will be a formidable foe. The Cardinal might have the academic edge, but the Wildcats have all other ingredients to bring this talented big man to the UA.
"I like Arizona's style of play," Nwankwo said. "They like to get up and down the floor and I like Lute Olson and way he coaches. And (UA) is a large school, which means more fan support."
Nwankwo's mother is an accountant and his father is schoolteacher who taught geology at the University of Maryland but now teaches at a middle school. His 15-year-old sister, Veronica, is a junior who plays for Holy Cross High School in Bethesda. She's also considering Arizona and Stanford.
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