6-9 Ejike Obinna is a fast rising prospect from Nigeria who has lived the past three years with the family of Ray Matthews in Ashburn, VA. Obinna attends Virginia Academy which was founded by former NFL star Antwaan Randle El.
Clemson is among the schools which jumped on Obinna after seeing him in action last year and the Tigers will get the first of his official visits August 19th. He also is set to visit Florida September 2nd and is talking with Vanderbilt about a visit as well.
Obinna also has Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech on his short list.
“Coach (Mike) Winecki saw him in Pittsburgh during a live period last year, April of ’15, so they’ve been involved ever since,” Matthews said. “My wife is from Charleston, grew up in Greenville and went to USC so we tease coach Brownell and Winecki about her having to get into the orange and stuff, but it’s just teasing. They had regular contact thru July and coach Brownell came up for a practice in September of last year to make the offer face to face with him. They’ve been a constant presence, in contact with all of us. Coach Winecki is everywhere, all the time. He’s hard to miss. ”
Matthews said they have taken Obinna on about 15 unofficial visits so that he can see as many schools as possible, and that included a trip to Clemson last November.
“It’s been a whirlwind for him,” Matthews said of Obinna who has only been playing organized basketball for three and a half years. “He is very intelligent, focused and hard working. He’s been studious with his academics and he’s focused with his athletics, too. He’s working out and getting better and focused on what do I need to do now. He’s kept his recruiting stuff compartmentalized.”
Clemson’s early start with Obinna and constant presence seems to be working as the Tigers have managed a spot on his short list.
“They’ve been there the whole time,” Matthews said. “At the culmination of his AAU career last month, they were at every game he played. They are in constant contact. He wants to go some place where he can contribute, that wants him and where he can continue to develop the way he has over the last three and a half years and where he can get a meaningful degree from a good university. The coach-player dynamics are important to him, too, and the team culture. He’s very team focused.”
Obinna is just 16 years old and has a 7 foot 3 inch wingspan. Matthews said Obinna’s doctor said he could grow to seven feet or more though his major growth spurt occurred before he came to the United States.
Matthews said Obinna most likely will sign in November.