UCLA adds JUCO post player

Steve Alford and UCLA added their fourth pledge of their 2015 recruiting class on Sunday. This time they dipped into the Junior College ranks.

UCLA filled one of their 2015 needs Sunday morning.

In search of a post player to help them inside, Steve Alford dug into the Junior College ranks to pick up a commitment from 6-foot-9, 250-pound Ikenna Okwarabizie.

Okwarabizie’s coach at Tyler Junior College – Mike Marquis -- informed Scout of the decision.

“I think there's probably three factors,” Marquis told Scout. “One he did a great job recruiting him. Second I have a long relationship with coach Alford and have sent him kids over the years and they've all been successful athletically and academically and ultimately it’s UCLA.”

Okwarabizie reportedly had strong interest from Iowa State, Iowa, VCU and Texas, before ultimately making the call for UCLA. He committed to the Bruins while in Los Angeles for his official visits. “We just thought this was the best fit for him,” Marquis said.

According to Marquis, Okwarabizie will bring tough, physical play to the post at UCLA.

“He's very physical,” he said. “He's like a skilled Charles Oakley. He has good form. He's a big, physical man. He can score on the block and step out to the elbows and he rebounds well. He defends the post well. He's just scratching the surface.”

UCLA now has four pledges in their 2015 recruiting class. To go with Okwarabizie, UCLA has commitments from a pair of top 50 prospects – Aaron Holiday and Prince Ali – as well as three-star forward Alex Olesinski.


Scout Hoops Top Stories