Anigbogu and Cal Share Mutual Interest

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Emergent four-star big man talks about his relationship with Cal assistant Yanni Hufnagel, and the potential for him and a teammate to play together again at the next level.

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- After an emergent Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Ike Anigbogu (pronounced EE-kay) of Corona (Calif.) Centennial has seen his stock soar, and there is one program that’s sticking out above the rest for the 2016 big man: California.

“I’ve actually been talking with them a lot lately, and I have a really good connection with the assistant coach, Yanni Hufnagel,” says the 6-foot-9, 230-pound four-star prospect, who was held out of his team’s 63-54 win on Saturday in the Jordan Take Flight Challenge in the Jordan Hangar in Playa Vista, Calif., just steps from Scout’s offices. “We text now and then, and we have a really good relationship. He connects with kids a lot better than some other coaches, too, because me and my teammate, Jalen Hill, we talk about him, and it’s a fun relationship.

“They’re down here a lot, they’re always checking us out. On holidays, they wish us to have a happy holidays, and all that, and we actually talk to them a lot, more than other college coaches, and that’s really good for the recruiting process.”

The twin Huskies big men are an imposing force, and one reason why Centennial could very well be on a collision course with Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd for the state title. A year apart, the two talk about recruiting quite a bit with one another.

“We haven’t discussed playing together, but I think that may come to mind, when it comes down to it,” says Anigbogu.

Like Anigbogu, Hill is very close with Hufnagel, but there’s more than just the personable assistant that draws Anigbogu towards Berkeley.

“They have a really good academic program,” says Anigbogu, who’s parents were both born in Nigeria. “My sister was about to go to Berkeley, but she didn’t want to go really far, and she got a full scholarship to UCLA, but she’s always talking about Berkeley like that was her first choice. The academics are a really big point in my family. Berkeley’s really high up there.

“[My parents] always say that education comes before basketball. It’s the primary thing.”

Anigbogu is determined to see the Bears when they come down next week to play USC and UCLA. “I’m definitely going to those games,” he says.


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