JC Forward Engen Nurumbi Signs with Gophers

Engen Nurumbi, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward from Arizona Western (AZ) CC, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Minnesota next year. Nurumbi averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game, leading the Matadors in both categories this past season and was named third-team NJCAA All-American.

Engen Nurumbi played his freshman season at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada, where he averaged 14.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as he led the Panthers to a 15-14 mark. He shot 52.6% from the field.

Nurumbi helped lead Arizona Western to a 28-7 mark and a spot in the NJCAA tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. He averaged 14 points per game at the NJCAA Tournament as he scored 14 points and pulled five rebounds in a 66-58 overtime win over Coffeyville in the first round. Nurumbi had 12 points and 13 rebounds against Iowa Western in a 79-55 loss and 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 72-49 loss to Howard. Nurumbi was also named first-team All-Region I and All-ACCAC.

Nurumbi is a native of Kinasha, Congo and he speaks five languages. He picked Minnesota over interest from Georgetown and Georgia. He will have to take two credits in summer school at Arizona Western to be eligible for the 2006-07 season.

"We're very pleased for Engen in his decision," said AWC men's head basketball coach Kelly Green. "Having him head to the Big 10 really says a lot about our program and about the schools and conferences that were recruiting him. They include teams from Conference USA, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeast Conference, and of course, the Big 10. Engen's athletic ability is exactly what Minnesota was looking for. I'm just sorry that we only had Engen for one year."

"Engen's really made great strides this year," said Green. "He started out as a great athlete, and his skills continued to improve all season. He was a big part of our success. It's also great for AWC to have another All-American. We had two last year (Demario Butler and Robert Hines), and now with Engen getting the honor this year, it just says so much of how much respect our program is getting nationwide."

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