Believe it or not, Africa is a treasure trove of talent, not just in football but in other sports like basketball. The raw talent that abounds in the continent has continued to draw scouts who come to African countries to recruit players. It was on one of such recruitment trips that Ejike Obinna was discovered in Enugu State – and, currently, he’s owning the big stage in American college basketball.
Now 18, Obinna was recruited in 2013 through a foundation run by former NFL player, Antwaan Randle-El. As the athletic director of Virginia Academy, Randle-El needed a player who could boost the private school’s growing basketball team. When Obinna finally entered the US, he didn’t waste time delivering the desired results.
Although gelling with his new environment wasn’t easy, Obinna said he made conscious efforts to fit into the new system.
For someone who had never touched a basketball until 2013, he exceeded expectations in the team. In the 2015-2016 season, he was named one of the best players in the private schools' basketball league in the US. And his success encouraged Virginia Academy to give another Nigerian player a chance.
By 2016, 6-foot-9 Obinna impressed all the way into the list of top 100 recruits.
Ranked by 247Sports as the 12th-best center in the 2017 recruiting class, and listed as a four-star prospect by Rivals, Obinna had countless offers from many American universities. He chose to settle with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Now at university, the star in him has become even brighter.