KS Prep School Duo Making Noise

Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas boasts a pair of hot commodities for the spring signing period. Eric Katenda and Gabe Olaseni hold Iowa offers and are looking hard at the Hawkeyes.

Kyle Lindsted's team is a work in progress. But, boy, the Sunrise Christian Academy Coach has a lot with which to work.

The Kansas school features two tall foreigners receiving a lot of attention from colleges. Eric Katenda (France) and Gabe Olaseni (London) have teamed up as one of the best duos in the Midwest.

"They're both doing really well," Lindsted said.

Katenda arrived in the U.S. a few years ago. Olaseni came to the states at the beginning of the year.

"He's still getting used to the style of play, the physicality," Lindsted said. "But he's an athletic, tall, agile guy. When he gets some more muscle, he's going to be a force."

Katenda and Olaseni both have secured scholarship offers from Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery. They've been classified in the 2011 Class and have decided to sign with a four-year college in the spring, Lindsted said.

A who's who of top programs are showing Katenda interest.

"I don't want to get into naming them, but if I gave you the list your eyes would pop out," Lindsted said. "We're talking Top 5 type schools."

Their inquiries are falling on deaf ears. Katenda is focusing on four finalists - Iowa, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Notre Dame.

"It's hard to shut the door on some of the big names, but we have," Lindsted said. "We've told them that we're not letting everyone and their dog in now. Those four schools have been on Eric for a long time and those are who he wants to look at.

"When he got here, the focus was on academics and qualifying, which he'll do. Things can always change, but we've told the other schools that they're out."

Katenda came to Sunrise from Cheshire (CT) Academy, where he had been getting a lot of attention from high major colleges. McCaffery began recruiting him a few years ago. Katenda's AAU team practiced at Siena.

Katenda's recruitment took a hit last spring and summer. He contracted an infection after appendectomy surgery, he lost a lot of weight and missed the AAU season.

Iowa and the other schools among his finalists stuck with Katenda during the rough time. They've positioned themselves to land a quality player in the spring.

Olaseni's recruitment is behind that of Katenda, based mostly on not having the AAU or American high school exposure before this season.

"He's getting interest from a wide variety of schools," Lindsted said. "Some smaller schools have come in, but we feel like Gabe can play at a certain level. There is interest from the ACC and SEC."

Olaseni introduced his game to Iowa when the coaches went to Kansas to see Katenda. The Hawkeyes offered the scholarship.

"Iowa is in good shape with Gabe," Lindsted said. "They were in early with him and that helps their cause. By the spring, they'll have been recruiting him for a while.

"It will be interesting when we get to the spring and schools realize how hard it is to find athletic big men. They're all going for the same guys right now and when those kids start going one place or the other, things will get serious."

Lindsted said that Olaseni (6-10, 205) is improving at a rapid rate.

"He's slender, but he's gotten a lot stronger just in the time he's been here," the coach said. "He's like a track star five. He runs the floor. It's two steps from the free throw line and slam. He's a legit athlete that plays above the rim."


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