Victory Christian center Ebuka Izundu is taking his talents near South Beach.
Izundu, a 6-foot-10 senior who has been the target of a hot recruiting battle, will play at the University of Miami (Fla.) for coach Jim Larranaga. That means Izundu will play in the ACC and have several games in his home state. His high school coach, Aureice McCain, said Izundu picked the Hurricanes over Arkansas and Cincinnati. McCain said the fact that Miami has fewer than 20 students in more than half of its academic classes was a major draw for his star player.
“It’s the ACC, and he felt really comfortable there,” McCain said. “They have an African on their basketball team who is from his home area (of Nigeria). They have another on the football team. And Miami is a small school, with a student-teacher ratio of 12-to-1. He feels he’ll get the same type of academic support there that he got at Victory. Plus, he’ll get to play five or six games in North Carolina each year, so he can play in front of family and friends.”
Rivals, a national recruiting website, ranks Izundu as a three-star prospect. Another site, 247Sports, rates him as a four-star recruit. Last season, Izundu averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks. He was named first-team All Charlotte Observer. Izundu is a mobile big man who runs the floor extremely well. His AAU coach, Kevin Ligon, compares him to a high school version of Miami Heat foward Chris Bosh. Bosh, like Izundu, is left-handed.
Izundu signed with the Charlotte 49ers in November but asked for a release after the 49ers decided to mutually part ways with head coach Alan Major. Izundu said he wanted a chance to get to know new 49ers coach Mark Price and explore his options. McCain said Izundu’s recruiting turned white-hot shortly after he was released by the 49ers.
More than a dozen major college coaches came to Charlotte to watch Izundu work out at Victory Christian, located in Charlotte, and many traveled to watch Izundu play on his summer team, the Charlotte ACES. In recent weeks, Izundu had visited Charlotte, Cincinnati, Miami and Tennessee.
McCain, his high school coach, said coaches from Wichita State, South Carolina, Florida, Texas Tech and Conneticut had called this week, trying to get Izundu on campus for a visit.