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Class of 2018 shooting guard Ochai Agbaji officially signs on with Kansas

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None by OakPark Basketball

A bit of positive news for Kansas basketball on Wednesday might have gotten lost in the whirlwind that is the FBI investigation into college basketball and, at this point, specific mentions of the KU program.

With Wednesday being the first day of this year's regular signing period for college basketball, Ochai Agbaji, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard from Oak Park High in Kansas City, Mo., made his commitment to Kansas official by signing his national letter of intent.

The 3-star prospect committed to KU in early February after a recruitment that picked up steam faster than any major college recruit in recent memory. After beginning his senior season at Oak Park with next to no interest from Division I programs, the smooth shooting guard with a wide range of skills ended the process by holding offers from Nebraska, Oregon, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and, of course, Kansas.

Regarded by many as the best all-around player in the Kansas City area, Agbaji, who played AAU ball for MOKAN Elite, has drawn comparisons to former KU wing Travis Releford, who played at Kansas from 2008-13 after an incredible high school career at Bishop Miege High.

Agbaji told the Journal-World at the time of his commitment that even KU coach Bill Self said he reminded him of Releford and the Oak Park senior said he wanted to bring many of the same things to Lawrence that Releford delivered during his time as a Jayhawk.

Still unranked nationally by Rivals.com, it will be interesting to see where the 3-star Agbaji winds up when Rivals releases its update rankings in the coming months. It is not uncommon for a player to receive a major bump in the rankings after committing to a power program like Kansas.

Agbaji's signing makes his commitment to KU official and KU coach Bill Self on Thursday offered the following thoughts about his newest player via news release.

"Coach (Norm) Roberts went to watch Ochai play a couple times and was really impressed," Self said. "I had a chance to go see him in late January and thought he was terrific. I love his demeanor. He has a maturity about himself. He has a terrific frame and is an explosive athlete who can shoot."

Self continued: "When we offered Ochai a scholarship, he jumped on it and that also excited us because you want to coach guys who are excited to be in your program. I see him as a Travis Releford type. A guy that comes in and has the body to be a major college player. Ochai could be a high major defender early in his career and his skill set is such that I think he could be an immediate impact player for us. We're fortunate to get a player locally of this talent who possesses all the intangibles you want in a student-athlete."

Agbaji, who was named The Kansas City Star's All-Metro Player of the Year, averaged 27.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game his senior season.

He becomes the fourth player in the 2018 class to sign with KU — fifth if you count current KU freshman Silvio De Sousa, who initially was in the 2018 class but graduated early from IMG Academy and played with the Jayhawks throughout the second semester this season, helping KU reach the Final Four — joining five-star guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes and four-star big man David McCormack.

After adding Agbaji, Kansas officially has one scholarship still available and remains in pursuit of five-star shooting guard Romeo Langford, who revealed Wednesday that he will announce his college choice between KU, Indiana and Vanderbilt on April 30 at a ceremony at his high school in New Albany, Ind.

Comments

Jim Holcomb 3 months, 1 week ago

Edit - After beginning his senior season at Oak Park with next to know interest from Division I programs,

Matt Tait 3 months, 1 week ago

Wow. Thanks. I've done it the other way — no instead of know — but can't recall slipping up like that.

Thanks either way. It's fixed now.

Jesse Johnson 3 months, 1 week ago

I'm really tired of the player comparisons. I swear they do this for every other recruit that comes in: "He's the next __!" Remember when Quintrell Thomas was going to be the next Darnell Jackson? Or how Naadir Tharpe was going to be the next Aaron Miles? Or how Cliff Alexander was going to be the next Thomas Robinson? Let's just stop with the player comparisons. In my experience I've never seen two players that played just like each other. For some of these kids, it just sets them up for unrealistic expectations.

Chandler Accipiter 3 months, 1 week ago

Edit - You forgot to put a NIKE swoosh after MOKAN Elite.

Don't you think going forward we should know where the money is coming from for these "grassroot" programs?

Jonathan Allison 3 months, 1 week ago

Welcome to the family Ochai! The future is bright for you. Your keys to success are to do what Coach Self asks you do to (and what he tells you to do), to never stop working on your body or your game, to be patient and mentally tough when things don't appear to be going your way (even for extended periods of time), don't ever pout, always be a good student and a good teammate, and do your best to avoid distractions at all costs.

David Morrison 3 months, 1 week ago

This kid is a baller. He will be an immediate impact player. Watch his videos. Regardless of his ranking.... he is a good basketball player. Not a "one and done." We need players like him. Welcome aboard.

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