St. John's picks up USC transfer Vince Iwuchukwu: 'I want to win a championship' | Zagsblog
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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.
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Thursday / May 30.
  • St. John’s picks up USC transfer Vince Iwuchukwu: ‘I want to win a championship’

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    By CHARLIE PARENT & ADAM ZAGORIA

    St. John’s has officially signed USC transfer Vince Iwuchukwu after he committed on Tuesday.

    The 7-foot-1, 250-pound former five-star averaged 5.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and .6 blocks in 15 minutes per game with the Trojans last season.

    Iwuchukwu is Rick Pitino’s first transfer pickup this offseason. The Red Storm will also bring in class of 2024 four-star wing Jaiden Glover, three-star big man Khaman Maker and Greek guard Lefteris Liotopoulos.

    “Rick Pitino has a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of faith in him,” Iwuchukwu said by phone Tuesday afternoon.

    Said Pitino: “After putting Vince Iwuchukwu through a player development session, I knew we had to have him in a Johnnies uniform. Awesome attitude and work ethic. [Vince is] agile, mobile and shoots the heck out of it. Excited to have him [join our program] with so much upside and potential.”

    The big man from San Antonio, Texas visited St. John’s and Madison Square Garden last week.

    “I got there Tuesday and left Wednesday, it was a good visit,” he said. “We worked out, talked about basketball and talked about my future. It just feels like the right fit.”

    As for what skillset he brings, he said: “A hard-working player that just wants to win. I want to win a championship there. I want to go to the Final Four. I want to win at St. John’s and it’s in my DNA to win, and I think Rick Pitino has that [goal] for the program as well and it’s just a no-brainer for me.”

    He added: “I know Rick Pitino and the coaching staff have a great vision for the team and they’re going to bring the right people in to help us be a better program.”

    Iwuchukwu went into cardiac arrest during a USC practice on July 1, 2022, an incident similar to the one that happened last summer to Bronny James. He returned to play 14 games in the 2022-23 season, averaging 5.4 points and 2.5 rebounds.

    “I played all of last season, basically,” he said. “I’m doing great, phenomenal.”

    Iwuchukwu said he can’t wait to play in the Big East Conference and at the Garden.

    “I’m looking forward to that, but I’m just looking forward to getting better every day,” he said. “When that time comes to show how much I’ve grown as a player, I’m excited to have that happen.”

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