After Jahlil Okafor won a gold medal for the 17 and under USA team this summer, the young center has rededicated himself to becoming the number one player in the country.
Okafor, cousin on NBA player Emeka Okafor, is considered one of the best big men to ever play in Illinois. He is the top ranked center in his class and he wants to climb even higher in the overall rankings.
When asked about his most significant achievement to date, Okafor said: “Winning the gold medal for the 17 and under USA team, pushed me to elevate my game by playing with the best. As a result, it allowed me to earn MVP.”
Part of what has allowed Okafor to climb to these heights has been that he has played against the best players in the country. He is even quite close with Simeon Academy‘s Jabari Parker.
“[Parker] takes a lot of the pressure off of me, he’s one of my best friends,” Okafor said.
Okafor and Parker have developed a close bond both on and off the court and they are both young men with great skill, size, and most importantly a strong work ethic. Okafor writes a blog for USA Today to keep his fans updated on his recruiting process. He has not narrowed down his list of colleges yet, but there will be no shortage of scholarship offers for this young man as he continues to improve his game.
If I were a betting man, then I would guess Okafor ends up at Duke University with Coach K. Okafor watched one of the Blue Devils’ recent games and came away thinking Mason Plumlee could win Player of the Year. That a big man would be in the running for Player of the Year likely did not go unnoticed by Okafor. Think I’m wrong, though? Rant your opinion here.