KU basketball target Ochai Agbaji to announce decision Thursday at Oak Park HS

By Sam McDowell smcdowell@kcstar.com

The high-profile recruitment of Oak Park senior Ochai Agbaji was absent for the majority of the last two seasons, so much so that he nearly abandoned hope it would ever materialize.

It did, and in a hurry. During a 10-day period, Agbaji added seven offers from Power 5 schools, with Kansas among the bunch.

He’s settled on one.

Agbaji, a 6-5 senior wing and three-star recruit, will announce his commitment Thursday afternoon.

That’s five days after KU offered him a scholarship. Agbaji visited Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. A day earlier, KU coach Bill Self watched him play against Ruskin, when Agbaji put up 29 points and 14 rebounds. He is averaging 27.7 points per game in his senior season.

In an interview with The Star last week, Agbaji said of KU’s interest, “Obviously KU is KU. I’ve been thinking a lot about it. But we’re going to wait it out as far as we can. That’s what I’m thinking right now.”

Agbaji is unranked on Rivals.com and ranked No. 328 in the nation at 247 Sports. But several high school coaches in the area consider him the most talented player in Kansas City.

In addition to KU, Agbaji has offers from Nebraska, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oregon State and Wisconsin, which he called his favorite team during his childhood. He was born in Milwaukee.

Oak Park shuffles him between a few positions, but Agbaji projects as a wing at the next level. He is also averaging 9.6 rebounds a game and shooting 56 percent from the floor.

Kansas currently has a full allotment of 13 scholarship players for the 2018-19 season. They include signees Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes and David McCormack as well as current non-senior roster perimeter players Lagerald Vick, Malik Newman, Marcus Garrett, Charlie Moore and Sam Cunliffe, as well as frontcourt players Udoka Azubuike, Mitch Lightfoot, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson and Silvio De Sousa.

If KU lands Agbaji, it would be one over the limit. Newman, Vick and Azubuike have been considered possible early entries for the 2018 NBA Draft. There always is the possibility of transfers as well.

The Star’s Gary Bedore contributed to this report.

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