Chier Ajou ruled eligible by NCAA

Updated: August 16, 2012, 8:54 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Northwestern freshman center Chier Ajou has been cleared by the NCAA and will be eligible for the upcoming season, Wildcats coach Bill Carmody announced Thursday.

Ajou, a 7-foot-2 center, is originally from the South Sudan and attended Culver Academies in Indiana for two years and went to St. Thomas More School in Connecticut last year. He signed with Northwestern in June and is the program's tallest player ever.

Ajou averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and 2.6 blocks last season.

Northwestern is coming off a 19-10 season and its fourth consecutive NIT appearance. The Wildcats return four starters and welcome four freshmen, two redshirt freshmen and two eligible transfers to this year's roster.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.