Obinna has an outstanding official visit: Florida Gators basketball

Two weeks ago the Florida Gators basketball staff starting hosting official visitors for the 2017 class.

During that first weekend the Gators hosted center Ejike Obinna (6-9, 220, Ashburn, VA Virginia Academy) and his guardian Ray Matthews spoke to Gator Country about the visit.

“The Florida visit was great,” Mr. Matthews said. “It was the first time that I had been down there but everyone else came down there for an unofficial visit in mid June. It was very impressive, the coaching staff was great and the facilities were great.”

Matthews says the message from Gators’ head coach Mike White to Obinna was straight to the point.

“He tells Ejike that he likes his physicality, size and his motor,” he said. “They love his work ethic and that’s something Coach White is looking for too. They talked more basketball then we talked basketball.”

White has become very comfortable with Obinna and the family and so is another assistant coach.

“We all got comfortable with those guys, and Ejike thinks a lot of coach White and Coach [Darren] Nichols,” Matthews said of the relationship with the staff. “Both Coach White and Coach [Darris] Nichols are in very frequent contact with all of us. Ejike can see himself playing there and for him.”

Matthews says after the Gators official visit Obinna has cut his list of schools down to four and describes what he’s looking for in a school.

“We’re down to four schools at this point and Ejike can see himself at all of them,” he said. “It’s coming down to just a level of fit. Ejike is looking for the best place to come in and contribute and fit in at. He’s also looking for what is best for him down the road.”

Two SEC teams and two ACC teams will battle for Obinna and the last official visit is coming for the big man.

“Clemson, Florida, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech,” Matthews said. “We’ve visited all of them except for Vanderbilt and we will take an official visit there next weekend. We’ve had coaches come all week long. All along the plan has been for Ejike to take his official visits and then a make a decision.”

The Gators didn’t stop with an official visit last week, as this week the Gators were in Virginia visiting Obinna and his family.

“Coach White and Coach Nichols came in on Tuesday and it was outstanding,” he said. “Coach White is just an outstanding person, very comfortable to be around. He has great dynamics with the team and the other coaches. That comes across very strongly. His vision and his view on how he plans to use Ejike is just a pleasure to be around.”

A decision hasn’t been made by Obinna yet but Matthews described their feeling on the Florida program.

“Florida is an outstanding university and program, what Jeremy Foley has done there and the support structure behind all of the teams is outstanding,” Matthews said of his final thoughts on Florida. “It’s all superlatives and there’s really nothing lacking in Florida as a choice. Florida would be an outstanding choice and we would be very pleased if he chooses then but we’re going to be very pleased with whoever he chooses.”


INSIDERS TAKE: Obinna is getting the full court press as Matthews said they’ve had coaches in all week and have more coaches coming in. It sounds like Obinna is still evaluating all of his choices right now but the Gators impressed the family a lot.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.