By William Duval
After receiving offers from Memphis, Maryland and Kansas State, JUCO star Okechukwu Okeke has signed with FIU, as announced by head coach Jeremy Ballard on April 17, 2023, via Twitter.
The 6-9, 230-pound forward spent his last season with the Tallahassee Community College Eagles, where he averaged 8.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
He served his team with energy, hustle and intelligence, leading the league in field goal percentage (64.5%).
While being efficient on offense, defense is Okeke’s most instantly recognizable talent.
In only 19 minutes a game, Okeke managed to average 1.7 blocks and 0.5 steals per game, which is impressive considering his playing time.
Something to note with Okeke’s defense is that he averaged fewer fouls (1.5) than blocks (1.7) last season, proving his patience and discipline. He also played in 37 out of 38 games last season, staying durable and consistent for his team all year long.
He led the Eagles to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament last season, where they reached the semifinals for only the third time in school history.
Okeke’s dominance puts him 15th in JUCO Recruiting’s Top 100 and his addition is a much-welcome one as the Panthers look to drastically improve their defense from last season, which ranked ninth in Conference USA.
Follow William Duval on Twitter at @WillDuval40