Onobun Could be Option for UCLA

<b>Fendi Onobun</b>, from Alief (Tex.) Taylor High, has gotten two big high-major offers and just took an official visit. Physical and atletic, Onobun could be a real option for UCLA in the 2005 class, and he likes the Bruins...

Fendi Onobun, 6-7 JR PF, Alief (Tex.) Taylor, is a frontcourt prospect that could possibly be a real option for UCLA.

Onobun, who says he weighs 220, is a strong, physical player with very good athleticism. His game is more suited now to the power forward position, with a nice ability to play with his back to the basket and a physical approach to rebounding and defense, but he also possesses nice, face-up skills. He's generally considered potentially a top 50 national player, and his performance this spring and summer could cement that hype and, more importantly, get more schools to offer him a scholarship, possibly UCLA.

To date, he said he has scholarship offers from Arizona and Texas. He, obviously, has a local connection to the Texas program, and his AAU team, Houston Hoops, is run by Hal Pastner, the father of Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner, so Arizona has always had a good connection into the recruits playing for that AAU program.

In fact, Onobun took an official visit to Arizona this last weekend, and said he really enjoyed it. "It was a good trip. I had a good time. I liked meeting up with the players. I took an unofficial visit there before, so I already knew some of the guys. It was also good to learn about the academics. It's really different out there, compared to Houston. It's hot, but it's dry heat, not like the humidity we have in Houston." Onubon said the other schools – besides Arizona and Texas -- he's interested in are UCLA, Stanford, Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Florida State, for now. Despite saying a while back that Arizona, UCLA and Stanford were his three favorites, he said he doesn't currently have a leader. "I'm wide open and just looking right now," Onobun said. "I want to get to know the schools, their style of play and their academics."

What other schools would he like to potentially visit officially? "Really, anyone who wants to offer me a visit. I'd like to visit UCLA, though. UCLA said they'll be coming to see me at the Kingwood Tournament (a big tournament in Texas in late April) and that maybe we'll schedule one up later."

In April, college coaches can visit a junior prospect's school for what is essentially an "in-school" visit. Onobun said that Arizona, UCLA and Georgia Tech have already indicated they'll be coming in April for just that.

His high school and AAU teammate is Martellus Bennett, the 6-7, 235-pound athlete who has scholarship offers for football as a tight end as well as being recruited in basketball. Onobun said that where Bennett goes could be a factor in his own decision since they're so close. "Martellus, he's my boy," Onobun said. "We're best friends. We've talked about going somewhere together. There are a few schools that are recruiting me that have offered Martellus in football and have told him he could play both sports, which is what he wants to do, like UCLA and Arizona. Texas is recruiting him for football. It could be a factor for me, where Martellus goes, as long as they have good hoops there. It's something that maybe could happen."

The other factor that will have an impact in Onobun's decision is academics. Maintaining a 3.5 GPA (he'll take the SAT next month), Onobun is a good student and he's looking for an elite academic school. "Academics are important. I want to go somewhere I can at least get a good education, somewhere that is prestigious, and where I can make something of myself, not just athletically, but academically. I think athletics and academics go hand in hand."

Onobun doesn't have any kind of time frame for making a decision at this point. "I really don't feel that I'd have to make a decision by any time. Whenever I feel it's right, the place is right, I'll make the commitment. It could happen anytime really. This summer, or this fall. Whenever it feels right."


Bruin Report Online Top Stories