Boys basketball: Amanze Egekeze commits to Belmont
By Erik Jacobsen email@example.com June 6, 2013 10:00PM
Huntley's Amanze Egekeze accepted a scholarship offer Thursday to play college basketball at Belmont. | Michael R. Schmidt ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 8, 2013 8:52PM
Amanze Egekeze is bound for the Music City.
The Huntley basketball standout’s visit to Belmont University in Nashville last weekend made quite an impression, and Thursday he accepted a full-ride scholarship to play for Bruins after completing high school next year.
“The people there really blew me away and sold it for me,” Egekeze said. “I felt leaving the visit that Belmont was the place for me. Nashville is a great city and the players were awesome. It was a no-brainer for me at that point.”
Egekeze, a 6-foot-7 post player, was particularly attracted by Belmont’s history of success. The Bruins have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament six times since 2006.
Coach Rick Byrd’s squad finished 26-7 last year, winning the Ohio Valley regular season and conference tournament titles before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament with a first-round loss to Arizona.
Egekeze joined the Red Raiders varsity team as a freshman and has helped the program claim three straight Fox Valley Valley titles. He missed the first half of his junior season after undergoing surgery to help alleviate knee tendonitis but averaged 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks upon his return.
Egekeze had five college offers on the table following his junior season, and the number continued to rise this spring as he showed off his skills with the Illinois Wolves AAU team. In the end, Belmont was the right fit.
“It’s good to have this off my shoulders going into the end of the AAU season,” said Egekeze, who plans to study business in college. “The (recruiting) process takes a little bit of a toll on you, but it’s great to have that sense of relief. I couldn’t be happier with this decision and I feel like I’m going to have a great time at Belmont.”