Just last week Northeastern forward Alwayne Bigby joined the URI program, gaining immediately eligibility due to his role as a graduate school transfer. On Friday, news surfaced that newly-appointed head coach Danny Hurley is looking to get another boost with 6-foot-8 forward, Ifeanyi Onyekaba.
Onyekaba was on the Kingston-based campus on Thursday trying to gain admission to the university. According to Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal, Onyekaba is enrolled at the university and awaiting clearance to join the team. More than likely, Onyekaba would need a waiver this season in order to fully participate.
By way of the Virginia Episcopal School (VA), Onyekaba was being pursued by many as a member of the class of 2013, therefore Hurley’s ability to get Onyekaba up to Rhode Island in mid-September is big news in its own right. While the team awaits official word on Onyekaba’s status, the Rams continue to progress towards the beginning of the season, with practice scheduled to officially tip-off on Oct. 12.
Hurley was able to land three additional transfers this past off-season, but Gilvydas Biruta, DeShon Minnis, and Jarelle Reischel all have to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA rules. For the time being, the Rams have only nine eligible players for this season. This comes on the heels off the school’s decision to part ways with Jim Baron, who landed at Canisius.
The transition runs deep for URI, who has seen Baron’s son, Billy, follow his father to Canisius, Jonathan Holton dismissed for multiple legal issues, and Jamal Wilson also dismissed from the program last season, all leave the university.
If Onyekaba can gain clearance, the Rams would have ten eligible players for the upcoming season. The Nigerian native would be a huge, late addition for Hurley moving forward.
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