Jul. 27 -- The four-star center who committed to UCLA earlier this year is working on an AAU teammate...
This time last year, Scout took a chance on Ike Anigbogu
The 2016 center from Corona (Calif.) Centennial. had no offers and was raw, but at 6-foot-9 with very long arms, good instincts on defense, above average athleticism, a huge frame and being a year young for the class, there were enough reasons to bet on him.
Anigbogu’s upside and promise landed him in Scout’s Top 100 for the first time and in the months since then, he’s only moved up that list. Today he checks in at 38th and has the opportunity to keep moving up.
Since Anigbogu’s debut in the national rankings, the four-star center has become one of the nation’s top defenders; a shot blocking specialist whose motor, athleticism, skill and consistency have all improved.
“I think offensively I’ve really pushed myself working out and I’m showing it in games,” Anigbogu said. “I’ve been improving my motor; working hard on the boards and getting back on defense every time. I’m trying to become a complete player.”
Anigbogu’s approach to defense – particularly as a shot blocker – is what has helped elevate his stock.
“I try to protect the paint,” he said. “It’s my paint and everything that comes in there is an offense to me. I try to block everything and be a defensive force.
“I’ve always been a defensive guy as a shot blocker but I like being one of the top shot blockers in the country. I’m trying to keep improving at that.”
A year ago Anigbogu may have had no offers but he’s now committed to UCLA
, which was a best-case scenario for him entering high school.
“I really like the school,” Anigbogu said. “It’s always been my dream school and I’m really happy I get to go there.”
The rising senior teams up with another UCLA commit on the Compton Magic in 2017 post Jalen Hill
, and the two have been working on getting another one of their teammates, Jaylen Hands
, to join them in Westwood.
“We’re always on him about it,” said Anigbogu. “We’re already part of the program and we’re trying to get him to be part of the program too.”