Goodluck Okonoboh “very intrigued” by Indiana offer

  • 04/19/2013 10:49 am in

041913sdAs a former AAU teammate of 2013 signee Noah Vonleh, Indiana has tracked Goodluck Okonoboh closely for quite some time.

But that interest took the next step earlier this month as Tom Crean and assistant coach Kenny Johnson traveled to Wilbraham and Monson Academy near Boston to watch Okonoboh work out and extended a scholarship offer.

Okonoboh has earned a reputation as one of the premier shot-blockers in the country and the IU staff has made him a priority in its recruiting efforts for the 2014 class.

“I know he was very impressed with Coach Crean, as was I,” Wilbraham and Monson coach Chris Sparks told Inside the Hall this week. “He’s a professional in every sense of the word. Having a chance to watch them play this year and then also getting a chance to talk to him some more and meet him, I think he’s very impressed with them and also very intrigued by their interest and flattered.”

Originally a member of the 2013 class, Okonoboh reclassified to 2014 to work on his game and his body so that he’ll be ready to contribute from day one in college.

It’s a move that is paying major dividends for Okonoboh’s development, according to Sparks.

“I think his game has really evolved at this point from not only being a threat on the defensive end, but also the offensive end,” his coach said. “He’s been extremely focused in the offseason and determined to improve his game on the offensive end, being a threat inside and out. He’s also had a big improvement in his body. He’s put on some weight and his explosiveness has even improved a little bit. He’s becoming more of a complete player.”

At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Okonoboh, born in 1994 to Nigerian parents, is an imposing figure in the paint that can change games by altering and blocking shots. Off the court, according to Sparks, he shares a lot of similarities with his close friend Vonleh as a quiet and humble kid.

“He laughs a lot, he’s got a great smile. He’s just got a really ¬†good personality,” Sparks said. “But on the court, it’s like a switch goes off. As a coach, it’s such a pleasure to be around because he’s so focused and determined.”

Rated the No. 20 player nationally and a five-star prospect by, Okonoboh has a lengthy list of suitors, but is still very early in his process.

The fact that Vonleh will be in Bloomington beginning this summer will only aid the Hoosiers in the pursuit of the highly touted center.

“Noah was an incredible get for Indiana,” Sparks said. “It obviously helps. He respects Noah and they value each other’s friendship and I think that obviously will help.”

Obokonoh will again play for the adidas-sponsored Mass Rivals AAU program this spring and summer, coached by Vin Pastore. Their first event, the adidas VIP exclusive run in Dallas, tips off later tonight in front of college coaches in the first of two April recruiting evaluation periods.

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  • MillaRed

    Goodluck, Pinson and Blackmon Jr? Yikes!

  • marcusgresham

    2014 class needs to bring in some size. If HMP and PJ don’t develop the front line is going to be thin, especially if Vonleh’s a one-and-done.

  • calbert40

    No doubt, right?! I don’t know how big this class will be, but I guess 3 or 4. If it is Goodluck, Pinson, Exum and Blackmon!!! OH MY!!

  • Benhyoung14

    Anybody know the wingspan on this guy?

  • BlakeD1223

    Scary scary good! Good luck (no pun intended) trying to guard us if we get those three.

  • mckillio

    You can never pass up the chance to get a guy who’s first name is Goodluck. Just watched some of his highlights and I love that he is always trying to keeps his blocks in bounds.

  • SCHoosier

    Now THAT was a hell of a story. Kid is gonna make his mom and dad come do it at IU Goodluck.

  • calbert40

    I’ve read it is freakishly long. 7’9″ is what I found on one site!

  • Poppin Tags

    Wow, after hearing that kid’s story how could you not want him more!??

  • Darkside9861

    Just remember what coach is bringing these guys to town. Dont hate on Crean so much!

  • HoosierTrav

    My gut says there is some major shake ups in the class of 2014. I could see us getting Exum (I think we are favorites if he decides to go to college), Pinson (similarly to the way Troy Williams committed when everyone thought UNC was locked), and Goodluck. I’d love to have Bluiett and Lyle but I think Lyle ends up in Louisville and Bluiett ends up at Butler or Michigan. I know there are rumors of Blackmon wavering , which I think are just false. I wouldn’t be surprised though if he plays outta his mind this summer. He could gain some heavy interest from shady coaches. I think he’s a lock though personally. Even if he decided to back out, I think we are in great position to recover right away. Blackmon, Exum, and Goodluck. That’s my estimated class of 2014. Maybe Pinson.

  • Atl

    Is J. Lyle still in the mix?

  • WisconHoosier

    I think it will be a 4 person class.

    Also, one great advantage IU has is that Goodluck can play forward for us.

    By the time Goodluck arrives, Fischer will be established at the 5 spot. Goodluck can play his natural forward position, which will help him develop if he wants the NBA. That’s a strong pitch to a recruit.

  • b_side

    If all four want to be Hoosiers, Crean will make it happen. You don’t pass up talent like that. The perpetual statement applies, whether it be early entrants, transfers, grades, etc: “These things always tend to work themselves out”

  • RoscoD73

    Likely Vonleh will be a 1 & done player and IU might have a transfer as well.

  • calbert40

    He recently trimmed his list to 6 schools: IU, Florida, OSU, Louisville, Illinois and Tennessee (Tennessee?). From the stuff I have read, Pitino is after him HARD. In fact, he evidently texted him from the locker room while they were celebrating the national title! I’d think that’s a strong pitch!

    I’m hearing Florida and UL are in the lead with the other four schools slightly behind.

  • calbert40

    Bluiett just got an offer from Alford and his former PT coach at UCLA. I wonder if that will be a tough one for him to turn down too. But I am thinking Butler too.

  • N71

    Somebody pinch me.

  • MillaRed

    I am beginning to wonder if every class will somehow have 7 recruits and we will have 37 kids on our roster. Coach is a sorcerer!

  • MillaRed

    Makes me wonder if we really can start pulling this off. Seeing Kensucky get another 3 studs made me sick the other day. But I think our kids are at most 2 and done and can actually be considered Hoosiers.

    I’m sure Nerlens Noel is just bleeding blue as his agent forks over those checks right now.

  • MillaRed

    Just not feeling it. Never have.

  • calbert40

    Me neither. I’m okay with that, though. Hate to miss out on good Indiana players, but I just always thought we weren’t a good match for him. I’d rather have Pinson and/or Exum anyway.

  • For sure on preference, both Pinson & Exum sound to be much better as players and personalities

  • Kelin Blab

    AMAZING STORY…..that is why this kid smiles!

  • Oldguyy

    IU could use some Goodluck!

  • Jersey Hoosier

    “Bringing these guys to town”? Have they verbally committed yet? Let’s not congratulate him until they sign their LOI. Remember Trey Lyles!

  • Ole Man

    Is Blackmon really only 6’1″. I know he can score a ton; and is a four star across the board; but haven’t we been down this road?

    (And I’m just asking; don’t diss me )

  • Ole Man

    Why aren’t we going after Jahlil Okafor from Chicago. #1 Junior in the country?

    Never hear him mentioned.

  • Ole Man

    I worry about that. Where are we going to put all these kids. We definitely don’t have the scholys.

  • Def ucla. No question.

  • Wrong. He is draft eligible after his freshman season.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    My guess . . . Goodluck comes in next year, but Hanner MP is ready to be “the guy” he was expected to be. Goodluck is much like Hanner and plays a few minutes behind him developing to take over for Hanner after he leaves following his incredible breakout junior season!

    A man can dream . . . can’t he???

  • Goner ReHa her pees

    He’s a lock. Good job Crean!

  • HoosierTrav

    You’re wrong! The rule states that the player must turn 19 in the same calendar year as the draft. He will be eligible to be a one and done. Not sure what source you got this information from but it’s incorrect. He may stay but it most certainly won’t be bc he is restricted from entering the draft.

  • BTownJosh

    MKG was 18 when drafted. Vonleh can be one and done if he wants to be

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    NCAA regulations say that we can only have one kid with a hightop fade, so looks like Jaquan Lyle is out of the picture. GIMME GOODLUCK.

  • GaHoosier

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

  • Ole Man

    Those Ky studs were already committed. The just went ahead and signed. At least that’s the way I read it.

  • Ole Man

    He’s still short for a two guard in today’s game.


    As many times as you have had to point this fact out it might be easier to just run a banner across the top of the page stating this Alex. lol


    Goodluck will be a monster, Crean needs to seal that deal !!!!!

  • Ole Man

    You’re right. I keep forgetting those very valid points.

  • Kenneth234

    We also need to consider that Blackmon can develop into a scoring point guard and play along side some athletic wing players while still filling up the score books.

  • Kenneth234

    The nerve to down rate Alex’s post!