Video: Onyeka Okongwu highlights
Athletic post led Chino Hills to its second state title in three seasons. Onyeka Okongwu
is staying close to home. But not the home school most had figured.
The 6-foot-9 junior, who led Chino Hills (Calif.)
to a state Division 1 championship in March, announced a short time ago that he will be attending USC.
Okongwu, who started as a freshman on the Chino Hills 2015-16 national title team, averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds and 3.7 blocks a game last season for the Huskies.
He picked the Trojans over Kansas, UCLA and Washington. Most figured that if he stayed in Southern California, he would pick UCLA.
During a lunchtime ceremony at Chino Hills, however, Okongwu had cardinal and gold balloons unleashed along with confetti while making his announcement.
Okongwu finished off a brilliant junior season by scoring 27 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking five shots during a 73-68 Division I state-title win over Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Earlier that week, his coach Dennis Latimore called him one of the top 15 players in the country. He's ranked the No. 5 junior center in the country by 247Sports
MaxPreps named Okongwu a fifth-team All-American and the California State Player of the Year.
"Where do you start?" Latimore said. "His character, his great footwork, tremendous leaping ability, strength, quickness, soft touch. The best part about Onyeka is his positive mindset. There's no ego. He's super positive. How he treats everyone is so refreshing."