Oklahoma State Cowboy forward Jean-Paul Olukemi chose to come to Stillwater, Oklahoma because it was a town of few distractions. When other people are out partying and living college the way most view it, Olukemi is hitting the gym or studying his basketball game.
The hard work paid off his first year with the team when Olukemi led the Cowboys, scoring an average of 15.4 points per game and drawing 145 free throws in 16 games as a starter. During that time span, Olukemi also posted 20 double digit scoring games to lead the team.
Everything was headed in the right direction for a player who tried his hardest until this past off-season. During Olukemi’s time at Stoneridge Preparatory School in Simi Valley, California, the basketball program was shut down. Olukemi did not know what to do at the time and was instructed by his coaches to attend a local junior college so that he could remain eligible.
Little did Olukemi know, his eligibility clock was ticking while he was at the junior college. As a result, Olukemi lost a semester of time. Olukemi applied for a waiver with the NCAA, hoping for the fall 2012 semester to not be his last.
On Wednesday, Olukemi’s waiver was approved by the NCAA, allowing him to regain that extra semester of eligibility. Instead of Olukemi playing his final game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on New Years Eve, he can now focus on the season at hand and try to reach the big dance in March.
The swift decision by the NCAA dramatically helps an already bruised Cowboy lineup. The Cowboys had already lost Brian Williams for the season. If Olukemi and Williams had both been out for the season, the Cowboys would of had a hard time competing with the level of talent in the Big 12 Conference.