October 20, 2011

Okonoboh humbled on visit

Tilton (NH) Tilton School power forward Goodluck Okonoboh was on campus at Syracuse last week and had a great visit. On the trip he saw NBA All-Stars, a Hall of Fame coach, and a music act that he enjoys.

"Syracuse is a real nice place, they have a real nice campus, and it is a great place to be around for the college season. I liked it," Okonoboh said. "Overall, it just felt like it was a whole community up there at Syracuse. They had older players like Carmelo and all of the alums come back. It showed me that it is about more than just basketball at Syracuse."

On the trip the 6-foot-7, 210, pound Okonoboh had a chance to have a one-on-one meeting not only with Jim Boeheim, but he also spoke to Carmelo Anthony.

"I talked to Carmelo and he was just telling me that Syracuse is the place to be. It meant a lot to me. You just have to know what kind of advice to take and obviously he is one of the top NBA players, so he knows what he is talking about. You have to take some of his advice because he has been there and is one of the best."

Talking with Anthony was one of his favorite parts of the trip, but there were others as well.

"My favorite part was probably seeing Meek Mill, Hakim Warrick, Donte Greene, Carmelo Anthony, and all of the other guys there."

The crowd in the Carrier Dome also stood out to him.

"The size of the crowd told me a lot because it was just for Midnight Madness. Imagine if it was a game and there were more people. It just showed me that everybody sticks together in Syracuse and no matter what they are going to be behind you."

Outside of the Midnight Madness festivities Okonoboh had his chance to sit down with Boeheim and talk about the future.

"It was very humbling to sit with Coach Boeheim. It lets you know that all of your hard work is paying off. He does not tell you what you want to hear, he has been around players like Hakim Warrick, Carmelo Anthony, and NBA All-Stars. With that you have to sit down and listen because you're not the first person he has seen with potential. He knows what he is talking about."

Not only has he had talks with Boeheim, but Mike Hopkins has also played a big role in the recruitment of Okonoboh. With both coaches in the ear of the three star prospect he admits to having a great relationship with them.

"My relationship with them is going really well. Coach Hopkins, I talk with him all the time and Coach Boeheim I talked to when we were at Syracuse. I sat down and had a meeting with him and he told me what he thought I could do and how he thought Syracuse was the place for me. He is just a real great guy and a Hall of Famer and he knows what he is talking about. They don't tell you what you want to hear they tell you what you need to hear."

When it comes to thinking about Syracuse on his own there are a couple items that stick out.

"When I think about Syracuse the first things that pop into my head are Hall of Fame coach and winning."

On his visit he was also with his best friend and teammate Nerlens Noel. The two players are very close, is there a chance that both could end up at the same college?

"There is a possibility that we could do that. A four and a five going to school together and we are best friends, we know each other like the backs of our hands. I am not saying it will happen and I am not saying it won't happen. He is one of my best friends, so why not."

With that being said a commitment is unlikely to come soon form the prospect.

"There is no time frame for when I will be committing or anything like that. I am just taking my time and taking it all in."


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