Looking For A Home

Arizona State basketball transfer Wilfried Fameni is down to four potential schools, and his decision could be coming soon after making visits to two of the contenders.

Fameni, who visited WVU recently, had an enjoyable visit with the Mountaineer coaching staff and players.

"This wasn't the first time I had been to West Virginia, so I knew what was there, but it was an excellent visit," said Fameni, a native of Cameroon. "I had a chance to visit with the coaching staff again, and it went very well."

Fameni was recruited by Mountaineer head coach John Beilein out of high school, and the decision to go to Arizona State over WVU was a difficult one for him. Therefore, it was no surprise that West Virginia was one of the schools on his list after he announced that he would leave ASU in late April.

"Coach Beilein recruited me the last time, so I am very comfortable with him," Fameni said. "I have a good relationship with him, and talked with him a lot. I also like the type of players that they have, and the way they play. I get along well with the players there."

The multi-skilled forward, who speaks four languages, finds plenty to like about WVU.

"I am interested in business, and they have a good business program there," Fameni explained. "I also talked to Joe Herber when I was originally recruited there."

That last statement might seem a bit out of the blue, until you consider the similar situation the two players faced. Both came from another country and faced the stress of assimilating into a new culture while also facing the demands of playing basketball at the highest collegiate level. While that probably won't be a factor that causes Fameni to pick WVU, it certainly can't hurt to have a teammate who faced many of the same cultural challenges that he did.

"I've been here for four years," Fameni said of the shock of coming to the U.S. from his native Cameroon. "At the beginning, it was difficult, but I have adjusted well. There were many things to get used to, but I think I have done that very well."

The one place that Fameni didn't feel comfortable was in Tempe, but he is quick to say that there weren't any problems with his teammates or coaches. It was simply one of those situations where all the peices didn't fit together.

"I just didn't feel like the way they played made me a complete basketball player," Fameni said. "There were no problems with anyone there. I loved my coaches and my teammates. It was just that I didn't feel comfortable there."

So, following an injury-plagued sophomore season in which he hurt a knee (he since underwent surgery), Fameni decided to transfer, and began looking at other schools. His sights were set back in the East, closer to his home family in Virginia, and the list now looks to be down to four. In addition to WVU, Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason, and Boston University populate Fameni's list of interest.

The 6-7, 240-pound sophomore has already visited VCU, which also recruited him in high school, but isn't sure whether or not he will visit George Mason or Boston. And while he hasn't set up plans for those visits, he also has a bit of a short timetable for making his selection, as he hopes to announce his intentions by the end of next week.

Fameni would have to sit out the 2005-06 season, and would then have two years of eligibility remaining.

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