Meet Femi Ibikunle

MILFORD, Del. – His name is Oluwafemi Ibikunle. Just call him Femi. And also call the 6-foot-8, 235-pound New Hampton (NH) School import what he's about to become – one of the most sought-after big men in the whole darn Class of 2003.

"He's a tough, physical, rebounding kid who knows how to play the game," Huskies coach Jamie Arsenault said Saturday afternoon here at the War on the Shore. "And it's still real early in the year."

In other words, there's plenty of time for high-major schools to continue to recruit the native Nigerian, and there's plenty of time for the native Nigerian to try to sort through said high-major schools.

Right now?

"Everybody sends mail," Femi Ibikunle said with a smile after New Hampton's 62-51 win over Virginia Beach (VA) Coastal Christian Academy. "‘We want you. We love you.'"

Who wants him? Who loves him? Some of the programs that have shown interest to this point: North Carolina, Iowa, Cincinnati, Memphis, Louisville, Villanova, Richmond, Boston University, etc., etc., etc.

Where might he ultimately end up? Who knows? Certainly not Femi.

"I don't have any idea," he said, basically admitting he doesn't really know the differences between, say, Cincinnati, Villanova or BU. "Everyday I get different mail. But I know one thing: I like warm weather."

OK. Warm weather it is. Maybe.

But this much is fact: In Saturday's game, Femi tallied two points, four rebounds, four blocks and a steal in only 15 minutes of action.

He was plagued by foul trouble and never really got into a rhythm, though. Moreover, when he was on the floor, his teammates didn't exactly get him the ball a whole heck of a lot.

Translation: Don't read too much into that stat line.

The kid's strong up top, he's a reliable rebounder on both ends of the floor, he blocks more than his fair share of shots, and he hits the floor for loose balls and runs the floor for tips and dunks.

He might be somewhat raw offensively – OK, he is – but he competes. And he's realistic about his weaknesses.

"My offense," he said. "I'm fine with my defense."

So is his coach.

"I like his enthusiasm and his hustle," Arsenault said. "He works hard. He just has a great work ethic."


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