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Larranaga lands commitment from one of nation's top centers: Champagnat's Tonye Jekiri

Tonye Jekiri, a 6-10, 220-pound senior center at Hialeah Champagnat, committed to the University of Miami on Monday morning, giving new Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga a big man for the future he sorely needs.

Tonye JekiriJekiri moved to South Florida from Nigeria in Sept. 2010 and hasn't been playing basketball very long according to Champagnat coach Danny Serrano.

"But he's got a huge upside," Serrano said. "From the minute that school started I was getting phone calls from Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson, George Mason, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn -- name it they were all after him.

"He's a legit 6-10, but a gazelle. I think this is his fourth year of playing organized basketball, but he's come an unbelievable ways and still has an unbelievable upside. That's why these schools have been so desperate to get him. Apparently, though, his visit with Miami over the weekend was so good he verbally committed."

Jekiri averaged 10 points and 14 rebounds last season.

"He's just so quick. He runs like a guard," Serrano said. "He's such an imposing figure under the basket defensively. He's real good on the help side. Offensively, he has nice a 10- to 12-foot midrange shot. He can play with his back to the basket or facing the basket. But his gift is how well he runs the floor."

Jekiri played for Florida's Team Breakdown (AAU) over the summer. That's where Serrano said he made his biggest strides.

Jekiri, rated the 17th-best center in the country by ESPN.com, is the second player Larranaga has gained a commitment from for the 2012 season. UM also received a commitment from Bronx (N.Y.) St. Benedict's Prep shooting guard Melvin Johnson (6-3, 175). Johnson is rated by ESPN.com as the 44th-best shooting guard in the country in 2012.


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like it..........

A more athletic team should be able to give Duke and UNC fits. Those 2 powerhouses have a problem with team that play off the cuff traditionally.

Good sign. Haith got good recruits too, but did little with him. Larranaga recruiting well is encouraging. At first impression he seems like Golden. A good teacher of fundamentals and team culture guy. In 5 years, both of these hires might be considered genious. We'll see.

I love these new coaches at the U

Welcome Tonye. I'm sure you'll be a trend setter for other top echelon players to come to the U.

As someone that lives in the dc area I can tell you coach L is the real deal. He turned a nothing basketball program that is located in the midst of Georgetown and Maryland universities and made them into a final four team. He is a teacher and was loved in this area. He along with golden Al are going to have a great impact on basketball and football.

I am happy that my son Tonye has joined the Coach L family and I know he will help him to get to the top. Congrats

Tonye is going to be a star

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