Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Memphis lands 7-footer Sam Ayomide Onu to stellar 2021 recruiting class
By ADAM ZAGORIASam Ayomide Onu, the 7-foot, 260-pound big man from the Phelps School (PA), has committed to Memphis, he told ZAGSBLOG.
A native of Nigeria who has been in the U.S. for four years, Ayomide Onu also considered Kansas, Seton Hall, Providence, Illinois and Wake Forest. He is ranked the No. 23 center in 2021 per 247Sports.com.
“I already developed a great relationship with the coach and I talk to Penny [Hardaway] pretty much every day,” he said. “I talk to [assistant coach] Cody [Toppert] and they let me know what my role would be. We talk about a lot of stuff on and off the court. I’ve developed a great relationship with them and I feel like I can trust them. That’s why I made my decision.”
As for his role, “They said just come in and be myself and do what I do best.”
Former Memphis prospects James Wiseman and Precious Achiuwa will be taken as lottery picks in next month’s NBA Draft, and Ayomide Onu said he hopes to follow in their footsteps one day.
“Yeah, 100 percent,” he said. “They’re just said come in and do what I do and who knows? I might be one-and-done, I might be two years. No matter how long it takes.”
The big man averaged 15 points, 12 rebound and 3 blocks last season at the Phelps School.
“Sam has made one the largest improvements in skill set in a year of any player I have coached,” Phelps School coach Trey Morin said. “His approach to the work the game requires daily has really helped him to improve every aspect of his game the past year.
“Sam’s upside is apparent within five minutes of watching him play. His combination of size, athletic ability, but even more so his understanding of the game, makes him someone whose best basketball is only beginning.”
Ayomide Onu joins a recruiting class that already includes wings Josh Minott, Jordan Nesbitt and John Camden. Ayomide Ono lives with the Camden family and considers John a brother.
“It’s great to have someone who has my back and to have family there,” he said. “I have someone I can trust on and off the court. It’s going to be great.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.