James Okonkwo Commits to WVU Hoops Class of 2023 | WVU | West Virginia Mountaineers Sports Coverage
An elite athlete who excelled at tennis during his early school years in Maidenhead, England (a suburb of London), James Okonkwo quickly turned to basketball once he was exposed to it. sport. His improvement was so rapid that he began to attract interest from a number of colleges in the United States after coming to West Virginia last August to play for Justin Dempsey’s Beckley Prep IJN WV team. , which led to a scholarship offer from WVU.
That, in turn, became a commitment Thursday afternoon, as Okonkwo pledged to join the West Virginia class of 2023.
– James Okonkwo (@ JamesOkonkwo13) June 24, 2021
An elite athlete who capitalizes on his great energy, ability to run on the ground and rebounding jumps, Okonkwo is already an excellent shot blocker and solid rebounder with excellent range. As his attacking game is still developing, he is showing the building blocks for being able to score from the 3 point line in paint, and is already showing the ability to score over either shoulder to the edge.
“He’s fortunate to be one of the best players I’ve ever been involved with,” said Justin Dempsey, who has seen many players during his years of training in preschools most recently. in the IJN Beckley program. “He’s a different type of athlete. He is physically good, but he understands things very quickly. You see him working on something, he can go out and run them.
James Okonkwo Player Page | WVU Basketball Class of 2023 Commitments
“I loved how genuine everyone was from the coaches to the players,” Okonkwo said of his reasons for choosing the Mountaineer program. “The culture of the program and the facilities, all I saw when I was able to visit after they opened, their goal is to grow and improve. This is who I am too.
Dempsey has seen this attitude manifest in person, even when COVID and an injury limited his participation last season.
“He had a broken finger and we only played 12 games, and he only played a few. Even with that, his progression and transition to the American game was faster than anyone else, ”observed Dempsey. “I think it has a lot to do with his ability to coach. He is eager to learn and he will do exactly what you want him to do. He is not consumed with attention. He probably made the decision about a week ago and told other teams he’s already signed up. His mindset is to become the best player possible and to become a professional. “
Okonkwo, who had an offer from Rutgers and thought he would attract a lot more before ending his recruiting, will play for the All-Ohio Red team on the summer circuit this year, including in the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in North. Augusta, Georgia, which July 20-25.