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Freshman James Okonkwo’s Early Journey to Morgantown is Just Beginning

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As school is about to begin, WVU basketball freshman James Okonkwo arrived in Morgantown this week to officially begin his collegiate career as a Mountaineer.

Okonkwo’s journey to Morgantown is unique.

Okonkwo is from England and made the move to the United States in 2020. From there, Okonkwo attended Beckley Prep IJN down in Beckley, West Virginia. The 6-foot-8 forward committed to Bob Huggins and staff on June 24 for the class of 2023 at the age of 17. Okonkwo was able to finish off his high school career, graduating from a school back in England.

In July, Okonkwo was able to reclassify up two classes to 2021 and get prepared to start at West Virginia a couple of years early. Huggins did announce that Okonkwo will enroll at WVU for the fall semester and will redshirt his freshman season to focus on his development on and off the court.

“James is 17 years old, he’s 6-foot-8 and can run and jump,” Huggins said. “He’s had a great summer, and James is a very good rebounder and shot blocker. He will fit in extremely well with our style of play.”

Okonkwo’s story has been quite incredible but it’s only the beginning for the young man across the ocean.

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Ethan Bock is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism at WVU. He currently writes for The Daily Athenaeum and is an intern with the Final Fourcast podcast. Ethan has covered WVU football and men’s basketball for the last year with Blue Gold Sports—an USA Today credentialed outlet. He is from Cincinnati, OH.

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