Ikenna Okwarabizie, the 6-9 post player from Tyler (Texas) JC, who was visiting UCLA this weekend, has committed to UCLA.
Okwarabizie announced via Twitter that he committed to the Bruins, and according to sources, he's signed with UCLA.
I'm proud and happy to say that I'm now a Bruin. #UCLAbound ??— iyke (@iykerulez1) April 19, 2015
He chose the Bruins over reported scholarship offers from Iowa State, Iowa, VCU and Texas, with recent interest from Kansas.
"I think there's probably three factors. 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 its UCLA," said Tyler head coach Mike Marquis. "We just thought this was the best fit for him."
Okwarabizie is originally from Nigeria, moving to the U.S. in 2012. After a year in Saint Louis, he enrolled at Sioux City (Iowa) East High in 2013. Due to issues with his Nigerian high school transcript, he wasn't NCAA qualified out of high school as part of the 2014 class, but was deemed qualified by the NCAA last fall to transfer after just one season at a JC. This fall he will enroll at a four-year college as a sophomore, with three years of eligibility remaining.
"He's very physical. 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," said Marquis.
Reportedly, Okwarabizie is a good student.
UCLA showed interest in Okwarabizie last fall, and, when Okwarabizie chose to not sign with any school last November, the Bruins followed up with interest this spring.
Iowa had been recruiting Okwarabizie for a long time.