By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Iowa State picked up its second basketball commitment for the class of 2012 over the weekend and the Cyclones beat out some of the top programs in America to do so.
Nkereuwem Okoro, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound shooting guard out of St. Raymond’s, (N.Y.) has pledged his allegiance to Fred Hoiberg’s program.
Okoro chose Iowa State over offers from Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Arizona, St. Johns, Rutgers and Seton Hall.
“I love the coaching staff. Fred Hoiberg is a very genuine guy,” Okoro told CycloneFanatic.com. “The whole town loves him.”
Hoiberg and Okoro’s primary recruiter, Iowa State assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih, are only a couple of reasons why Okoro finally pulled the trigger.
“The Big 12 is one of the best conferences in college basketball,” Okoro said.
Most importantly, Okoro believes in the future of Iowa State basketball.
“I’ve been talking to players who are going there and some who are already there,” Okoro said. “They tell me that the coaching staff is doing a great job of recruiting. It seems like the right time. I am comfortable with my decision.”
It all began in Iowa State’s 2011 class with Tavon Sledge.
Then last month, Georges Niang (out of Tilton, N.H.) committed to Iowa State’s class of 2012.
Now, Okoro is on board.
“It is one of the factors that got me close to making a decision,” Okoro said about Iowa State’s recent recruiting trends. “You wouldn’t think that a school like Iowa State would do a lot of northeast recruiting. Tavon Sledge is from my home state. Georges is from Boston. That will help me feel more at home. I really felt that on my visit. The environment was very comfortable.”
Okoro and Niang, Iowa State’s two known commitments in 2012, are off to a good start. They’ve been talking for quite some time now. Ames is on the minds of these two future Cyclones.
“That’s my boy,” Okoro said in reference to Niang. “We pretty much shared experiences in the discussions that we had with Coach Hoiberg. They were going at both of us hard”
“He (Niang) told me that he wanted me to join him and that we’d have a really bright future. It made a positive influence on my decision. We have a lot of ideas about what we want to accomplish there. Hopefully through hard work we can achieve some of that.”
At 6-foot-4, 215-pounds Okoro’s body is already Big 12 ready.
According to Okoro, Fred Hoiberg recently compared him to a former Cyclone.
“If you remember Curtis Stinson, he says that my game resembles the same energy and attitude as his did,” Okoro said. “That’s a reason why he loves having New York kids on the team.”
Okoro averaged right around 14 points and seven rebounds per game as a junior.
Now that he has his college decision made, Okoro plans to take a break from AAU ball for the rest of the summer.
“For now, I’m not playing AAU,” Okoro said. “I want to emphasize some parts of my game and spend more time working on specifics things. I want to do a lot of conditioning and get stronger instead of playing AAU right now.”
With the addition to Okoro to Iowa State’s class of 2012, Fred Hoiberg has one more scholarship to hand out in 2012. Here’s a quick look what a very tentative Iowa State 2012 roster looks like as of today.
Seniors: Tyrus McGee, Chris Babb, Korie Lucious, Will Clyburn & Anthony Booker. Juniors: Melvin Ejim, Royce White & Jordan Railey Sophomores: Tavon Sledge & Percy Gibson Freshmen: Georges Niang and Nkereuwem Okoro