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Tilton's Okonoboh flying under the radar

9/22/2011

During his annual preseason tour of the open gyms offered at New England prep schools, ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checked in with Tilton (N.H.) big man Goodluck Okonoboh, who has been steadily flying under the radar playing alongside high-profile recruits like Georges Niang, Nerlens Noel and Wayne Selden.

Don't mistake it for lack of talent, though, because the 6-foot-9 junior center and Boston native has plenty of it. Gonzaga, Syracuse, Minnesota and Missouri are high on him, all offering scholarships; and that list will most certainly grow over the next nine months.

Finkelstein writes:

"I've never been worried about rankings or anything like that. I know what I can do and these guys do to," he said, nodding his head toward his teammates.

What he can do is a little bit of everything. He's an excellent athlete capable of rising up to block a shot, throw down a hard dunk at virtually anytime or play on the perimeter with a soft touch and a passer's instincts.

But does he mind doing the dirty work?

"No, no," he said, "I don't mind doing the dirty work at all."

And again, that may be his biggest value, while he says he is continuing to make progress with his skill set and his back-to-the-basket game, this guy is a proven winner. He's been a part of two AAU national championships with the BABC and also taken a league championship in both of his seasons at Tilton.

While winning is its own reward for Okonoboh, his experiences are going to serve him well upon reaching the next level.

When mostly highly-touted prospects first arrive at college one of their biggest challenges is learning to be a piece of the puzzle for the first time in their careers, and not be "the man." Okonoboh won't have a problem with that transition. He already knows what it means to sacrifice for the team. He's been doing it for years and he's got a collection of championships to show for it.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.