ST. BONAVENTURE – Alpha Okoli, a 6-5 guard from Torrance, Calif., has signed a National Letter of Intent to enroll at St. Bonaventure University, according to a recent announcement from Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt.
The addition of Okoli comes as the Bonnies attempt to replace former guards Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley.
Okoli will graduate from St. John Bosco High in June. He played 14 games this past season (senior year), averaging 19.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while connecting on 48 percent of his shots overall and 35 percent from three-point range.
As a junior, Okoli averaged 13 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He was coached by Matt Dunn.
Big Shots Report ranked Okoli the 46th-best player in the class of 2018 from the state of California. He is a three-star player in the major recruiting rankings.
Okoli played AAU basketball for the Cali Stars.
Okoli will be the third California native to play for St. Bonaventure in recent years. Dion Wright, a Carson, Calif., product, graduated in 2016 after scoring 1,263 points. Woodland Hills native Jordan Gathers played for the Bonnies from 2011-14 and was a contributor on the 2012 Atlantic 10 championship club.
“Alpha is like a lot of our guys – a little bit under-the-radar, but with a high ceiling because of his athleticism, work ethic and character,” Schmidt said. “He is an open-court, attacking type of player who fits well with our style of play. He’ll continue to work to develop and improve, but we feel that we’ve gotten a really good player who can help us right away.”
Okoli will be the fifth new player to join the Bonnies next season and the third member of a talented freshman class along with point guard Kyle Lofton and swingman Dominick Welch. The Bonnies will also welcome a pair of juniors — guard Jalen Poyser, who transferred from UNLV and will be eligible in the 2018-19 season, and forward Melkisedek Moreaux, a junior college transfer.
St. Bonaventure has won at least 20 games the last three years, topped by a school record 26 wins this past season, when the Bonnies reached the NCAA Tournament and won a First Four game over UCLA.