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WVU Basketball Excited About Okonkwo’s Development After First Double-Double



Photo: Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

WVU sophomore forward James Okonkwo has made strides in his development this season, improving each game. Okonkwo’s confidence has improved over the past few weeks.

“I think I’m a little more confident now. Getting into the grove more,” Okonkwo said after the Oklahoma win. “I think my positioning on the court is getting a bit better and I think it’s all just going to come with time, no rush. Everything is going to come when it comes.”

Okonkwo’s teammate Erik Stevenson wasn’t shy to back up his development recently.

“He’s going to be a problem, that’s what he’s trying to say,” Stevenson said. “He’s going to be a problem.”

A problem Okonkwo was.

Okonkwo recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 32-point victory against the Sooners. The 19-year-old reached the milestone in just 14 minutes of play.

“I think James has made tremendous strides,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said. “He’s a guy who could end up being a force in college basketball if he continues to improve and work at it.”

Huggins has been a big advocate of Okonkwo’s game and wants to find more time in the rotation for the England native.

In his last five games, Okonkwo is averaging 5.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks on 73 percent shooting from the field and 80 percent shooting from the free throw line. Okonkwo’s minutes have also taken a jump up to 14.9 minutes per game in his last five.

“So proud of my lil bro DOUBLE DOUBLE!! You never gave up and you kept working and it’s paying off. Much love and respect for you brother,” teammate big Jimmy Bell wrote on Twitter.

Everyone within WVU’s basketball program is excited about what the future can hold for Okonkwo’s development.

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