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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Negedu could be first ’08 recruit to commit

    Emmanuel Negedu
    Emmanuel Negedu

    Arizona could be close to securing its first verbal commit after Wednesday’s unofficial campus visit from Emmanuel Negedu.

    “”It’s the leader right now,”” Negedu said of Arizona on Saturday.

    Negedu, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward ranked No. 29 by the recruiting service, said his visit to Tucson was “”pretty good,”” adding that a decision will probably come in a couple of weeks.

    Jason Smith, Negedu’s high school head coach at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, said he will discuss the next step with Negedu tomorrow when the player returns to campus from the school’s break. At that point Negedu, a four-star prospect, will determine if he wants to make a commitment or visit more schools to get a feel for different situations.

    On his visit to Tucson, Negedu, a native of Nigeria, sought out the international center to get a feeling for what kind of fit the UA community would be for him. He also met with the UA coaching staff, as well as players like Mohamed Tangara, a native of Mali.

    “”I thought it was fantastic,”” Smith said yesterday. “”Everyone we met was great. There was definitely a sense of community.””

    Negedu also played pick-up games with the current squad, in which he said he did pretty well. He said he feels like he would fit in with the Wildcats if he chooses to commit to Arizona.

    “”It has a great community right here,”” he said. “”One thing that I liked, one thing I wanted to get was the feeling of the coaches, how they worked with the players, which was pretty good.””

    After the visit, Negedu traveled to Houston for the Kingwood Classic, an event attended by UA head coach Lute Olson and assistant coaches Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

    Negedu helped his Indiana Elite squad win eight games Saturday and Sunday to win the championship. In the championship game against Pump N’Run Elite, Negedu scored all 15 of his points in the second half on 6-of-8 shooting for the game and also grabbed five rebounds in his team’s 78-56 win.

    “”It’s a pretty big deal. It’s probably one of the premier if not the premier events of the spring season on the club circuit,”” Smith said of the event, where Arizona found forward Jordan Hill two years ago. “”To win that event … he had to go though that (talented) field. It’s quite an accomplishment.””

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