Former Greens Farms Academy basketball star Sean Obi, who led Conference USA in rebounding as a Rice University freshman this past season, plans to transfer to Duke, where he will have to sit out the 2014-2015 season.
Obi decided to leave Rice after head coach Ben Braun was dismissed, and the 6-foot-9 forward announced on his Instagram account Monday night that he had accepted a scholarship offer from the Blue Devils.
When Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker opted to enter the NBA draft, the Blue Devils ended up with an extra scholarship and offered it to Obi.
"Happy to officially announce that I will be attending Duke University for the rest of my college basketball career," Obi wrote. "Very thankful for all the support and love from my family and friends all over..."
Obi will have to sit out a year as a transfer student and will be eligible for the 2015-2016 season. This will provide over a year of preparation before competing in a power conference -- the ACC -- against future NBA stars.
"As a redshirt, you get 14 months before you step on the court," GFA coach Doug Scott said. "It's actually great for someone like Sean; he will get to work out every day. When you are playing, there is a lot of rest involved before and after games."
Duke is unable to comment until all the paperwork is finalized and an official announcement is made, its athletic department said.
Obi started 29 of 30 games for Rice as a freshman. He averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 59.1 percent from the field, earning a spot on the Conference USA all-freshmen team. According to advanced statistics site KenPom.com, Obi ranked second nationally with a defensive rebounding percentage of 30.6.
Obi, 19, moved to Greenwich from Nigeria in 2010 and played two seasons for the Dragons. Obi lives with former GFA and Rice teammate Hunter Eggers.