“We are very excited to welcome Brian into the Rutgers basketball family,” said RU coach Fred Hill. “He is a tireless worker, both on and off the court, with tremendous athletic ability. Brian’s size and developing skills point to a bright future competing in the BIG EAST Conference.”
The 6-11, 245-pound Nigerian native Okam is an honor roll student at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla., where he practiced with the team under head coach Jeff Turner. A member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, Turner played 10 seasons in the NBA, including a stint with the Orlando Magic under head coach Brian Hill. Okam was unable to play in games this past season due to a Florida High School Athletic Association ruling that he had exhausted his window of eligibility. He transferred to LHPS after playing the 2007-08 season at the Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md., where he helped the team to a 21-4 record and the No. 10 East Coast ranking in the National Prep Poll.
The incoming trio will be joined by junior forward Jonathan Mitchell (Mount Vernon, N.Y.), a former New York state “Mr. Basketball” honoree who was a member of the University of Florida’s 2007 National Championship squad. Mitchell (6-7, 225) practiced with the Scarlet Knights this past season, but was unable to compete in games under NCAA transfer guidelines.STITH, ARMSTEAD TO VISIT ST. JOHN’S While St. John’s awaits word on what Lance Stephenson will do, the Johnnies will also host two point guards this weekend. 5-11 Malik Stith of Bridgton Academy (Maine) and 6-foot Malcolm Armstead of Chipola (Fl.) College (pictured) will both take officials to the Queens campus this weekend. Stith initially committed last spring and then St. John’s opted to go in another direction, ultimately getting commitments from Omari Lawrence and Dwight Hardy. Armstead has numerous suitors, including Iowa, Alabama, Wichita State, Rutgers, UNC Charlotte, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Creighton, Southern Miss and Memphis, according to Chipola coach Greg Heiar. (Photos courtesy Westchester Community College, ScarletKnights.com, Chipola College)