Big Man Seriously Considering Barbee's Tigers

A big post player who is originally from Africa talks about his visit to Auburn and his college favorites.

Raleigh, N.C.--A visitor to Auburn for the A-Day weekend said that he is close to making a decision and is seriously considering a scholarship offer to play basketball for Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn basketball team.

Olalekan Ajayi, who attends Quality Education Academy in North Carolina and whose home is Lagos, Nigeria, called his visit to Auburn "fantastic" and he noted that he has the Tigers on his list of finalists that includes Missouri and Loyola-Marymount.

Ajayi, who said he currently checks in at 6-11, 235 pounds, noted that he will have a decision soon on his college destination. He said that he called his father in Nigeria on Saturday and told him that he was impressed with the campus, the coaches and Auburn's school of business, the area of study he plans to enter as a collegian.

He added that he plans to talk to his father again early this week and have a decision on his college choice in the next day or so and will sign scholarship papers on Wednesday.

Ajayi, who said that he averaged 10 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks per game as a senior in leading his team to a private school state championship and national title, noted that he is serious about academics.

"I am a great student," he said, noting that helped him make the adjustment when he moved from Nigeria to North Carolina as a high school junior. "I have a 3.0 GPA and 1200 on my SAT.

"My school is a great school academically," Ajayi added. "They work hard to get us ready (for college). We have great teachers and a great principal."

Ajayi, who has been invited to play on the Nigerian Under 18 national team, said he plans to do that this summer with the blessing of his dad. "My father said you have to do your academic work or you are not going to play basketball," the high school senior said.

Olalkkan Ajayi

The big man was a standout at the Basketball Without Borders Camp in Johannesburg, South Africa in September of 2009 where he made the camp's all-star team. Players at the event received instruction from NBA stars like Dwight Howard and Dirk Nowitzki, Ajayi noted. "Dwight Howard was the first player that said I would be a very good player because I was the strongest kid he ever played against so that motivated me," the prospect said.

Ajayi noted that the really enjoys being aggressive on the boards. "That is what I love to do--get the rebounds, play defense and help my team," he said.

Quality Education Academy head coach Isaac Pitts said that Ajayi is a high energy player who is a strong rebounder. "He's a glass eater," the coach said. "He rebounds the ball extremely well above the rim."

Ajayi said that he really liked the people he met on his visit to the Auburn campus and the weather. "They are people who really care about you as a person," he said. "The atmosphere is great. I love it."

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