2013 Prospect Chinoso Obokoh Fond of the Mountaineers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

2013 Prospect Chinoso Obokoh Fond of the Mountaineers


Of all the prep players who made their way to Morgantown over the weekend, there were a select few who stood out above the rest.


At 6-foot-10, 220 pounds, Chinoso Obokoh turned heads just with his size alone. The Nigeria native has had the attention of West Virginia's staff for some time now and the Mountaineers are intrigued by his potential.

Obokoh's coach at Bishop Kearney (Rochester, N.Y.), Jon Boon, has spoken with WVU coach Bob Huggins about where his star center could fit in with the Mountaineers' plans in 2013.

"[Huggins] talks about how good [Obokoh] is defensively and obviously Coach Huggins' record with big men speaks for itself," says Boon. "He's coached a lot of really good big men that have played in the NBA, so I think he probably sees a lot of some of the guys he's coached in Chinoso."

Huggins and the WVU staff would have first noticed Obokoh's defensive prowess because, according to Boon, that's all he had when he first came to the United States. It's been Boon's job to get the other parts of his game to improve.

"As he's learning more and more things, he's become more comfortable in the post and now he's starting to step out and shoot jump-shots, 15- and 17-footers. He's actually made a couple threes this year for us. His offensive game is really evolving," says Boon.

Earlier this season, Boon recalls a situation where Obokoh grabbed a rebound and after failing to find an outlet pass, he took off dribbling down the court. Boon normally would have screamed for him to stop, but this time he let it develop and he was glad he did.

Obokoh handled the ball all the way to the paint, faked a pass and made a layup. That's the growth both Boon and Huggins have seen from him.

He suffered an injury to his foot that kept him out of a few games, including the second of the Mountaineer Showcase, but he did have a chance to face off against Huntington Prep's Elijah Macon, who is signed to play for WVU this fall.

"He's a good player," Obokoh says of Macon. "It's kind of fun for me to play with a big time player in the nation, but I think it's fun to play with those guys and those teams with the talent they have."

Growing up in Nigeria, Obokoh had plenty of interest in the NBA, but knew very little about American college basketball. Boon says the only game he had seen was the Duke-Butler national championship the year WVU fell in the Final Four.

Because of that, he doesn't get caught up in conferences or in program history, but focuses more on academics and relationships with the staff and players. West Virginia is passing the tests so far.

"It's definitely a school that he's very interested in, but in terms of ranking, he hasn't ranked them," says Boon. "He's starting to think of some schools that he wants to eliminate, but West Virginia's definitely not one of them."

With that in mind, a trip to Morgantown was welcomed as an opportunity to learn even more about a program he may one day commit to. Obokoh has met with WVU players and coaches on previous visits to town and is happy to continue to build relationships with them as his junior season goes on.

"I think it's kind of fun," says Obokoh. "I've seen the team and I watched them play on television. They're young, but they're a really good team. It's kind of fun being around and being with the coach."

Obokoh knows he has work to do in order to turn himself into the best player he can be and one that will gather more and more interest from top Division-I programs. In the coming years, he and Boon will work together to take his current skill set and size and mold him to his full potential.

"I just want to keep on working hard and see where it takes me," says Obokoh. "Some people here usually say, ‘Let the sky be your limit' and I say, ‘Let the sky be my starting point.'"

Sounds like a good place to begin.


Full interview with Chinoso Obokoh is at the top of the page and Jon Boon's interview can be viewed below.

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