Lions Sign Three Standouts From Familiar Roots
Men's basketball gets commitment from a pair of Southern California standouts and a member of M.C.I. from Nigeria.
Nov. 11, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - LMU men's basketball has announced the signing of Taj Adams (Fairfax High School), Nicholas Stover (Windward High School) and Tobe Okafor (Maine Central Institute) to National Letters of Intent to attend LMU beginning in the fall of 2012.
The Lions continue to sign top local talent and those with international ties to bring in yet another top-rated recruiting class. The Lions already have 10 players on the current roster from Southern California, signing a pair last year in Bruce English and C.J. Blackwell. They are adding two more in Adams and Stovar, who led their teams last year in scoring.
Okafor, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, joins fellow countrymen Ayodeji Egbeyemi and Godwin Okonji, as well as Finland's Daniel Latimer and England's Ashley Hamilton, on the Lions' roster. In addition, Okafor is currently attending Maine Central Institute, where LMU Head Coach Max Good spent 10 seasons.
"We are very excited about this recruiting class," said Head Coach Max Good. "All three bring great toughness at their possession and have had great success in their prep careers. They will be great additions for our program."
Adams, a 6-7, 180-pound forward, was the leading scorer at West Adams High School in Los Angeles last season. He transferred to Fairfax last spring and has been considered a rising prospect after strong performances during the summer. As a junior, Adams averaged 17.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for West Adams Prep. He averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a sophomore.
"Adams is a very skilled forward who can score in a variety of ways on the offensive end, "said Good. "Taj has good mechanics and his quickness makes his shot even tougher to defend."
As for Okafor, a 6-11, 225-pound center, he played at Mt. Zion Christian Academy a year ago and joined M.C.I. this fall. Over the summer, he was dubbed the Most Promising Player at the Rookie Basketball Championship for the Abubakar Basketball Club.
"Tobe is a very high level athlete that has great speed at 6-11," said Good. "He has a ton of physical tools and has shown a tone of improvement to his game already and figures to make an impact on both ends of the floor. He has a tremendous reach and can really block a lot of shots. With his long frame, he takes up plenty of space and alters a lot of shots."
Stover, a 6-6, 200-pound small forward, helped Windward capture its second state championship in three years. He is a two-time All-Alpha Conference selection, two-time All-CIF honoree, two-time All-State selection, a two-time CIF "Pursuing honor with victory" award recipient, a member of the 2009 CIF State Division 5 Championship team and a member of the 2011 CIF State Division 4 Championship team. In that 2011 title game against Salesian, Stover had 13 points and five rebounds.
"Nick can do a little of everything. He has a big body and is really athletic for his size," said Good. "He is a high-energy guy who is always in motion and has a high basketball IQ. He also has a great work ethic and his success at Windward speaks volumes for his leadership abilities."
He finished his junior season averaging more than 15.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the 27-8 Wildcats. In the stretch run of the season, he went for five straight double-doubles, including a 26-points, 19-rebound effort against Alemany. His season high was 27 against Tahquitz.
As a sophomore he averaged 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds as the Wildcats went 26-9 overall and 10-0 in the league.
The Lions begin action for the 2011-12 Centennial Season when they take on No. 17 UCLA at the L.A. Sports Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KXLU 88.9 FM and on Fox Sports West.