Basketball star receives 30 college offers

By Saj Sri-Kumar

The starting center/power forward for the boys’ varsity basketball team has narrowed his college choices to six after receiving 30 scholarship offers.

Zena Edosomwan ’12 has narrowed his list to Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Washington and Wake Forest University.

Throughout the month of July, Edosomwan participated in tournaments in front of college scouts, hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union, where he heard from 30 interested schools.

“I was very happy, I was very humbled,” Edosomwan said of the offers. “It showed me that all of my hard work was finally paying off.”

After receiving the offers, Edosomwan said that he paid attention to the academic caliber of the schools, particularly as it relates to his desire to major in medicine.

“To me, what’s important is that I want to go to a good academic school,” he said. “I always thought, if basketball didn’t work out, and, god forbid something happened to me and I was injured, I want to be able to get a good job and a good education that I could depend on.”

Edosomwan acknowledged that Harvard did not fit in with the rest of the schools, as it is not a well-known basketball powerhouse, but said that its academic strength as well as the coaching staff attracted him. 

“It’s Harvard,” he said. “It’s the best school in the world. Also, I really have built a relationship with the coaching staff there. I see where the program is looking to go in terms of basketball, and the academics are already there.”

In addition to the AAU tournaments, Edosomwan was scouted by colleges during last year’s high school season, according to Basketball Program Head Greg Hilliard. He said that the “travel ball” games where coaches are watching doesn’t show the entire picture.

“It’s sort of like watching an NBA All-star game, where no defense is played, and kids run up and down and do their dunks and all of this sort of thing, and the college coaches know that it only shows them a little bit of the picture, so [by watching] the high school season with organized defense with x’s and o’s they can see if the player functions well in that situation as well,” he said.

Edosomwan also participated in various invitation-only basketball camps, such as the National Basketball Association Top 100, where he was coached by Luke Walton and Steve Blake of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Adidas Nations, where he participated as part of team Africa.

Going forward, Edosomwan said that he plans on visiting the schools that remain on his list. He has scheduled “official visits” with Cal, Harvard, USC and Wake Forest, and will likely visit one additional school. He is limited by National Collegiate Athletic Association rules to five “official visits,” where his expenses are paid for by the university.

Throughout the summer, Edosomwan gained national notoriety for his basketball talent. In June, Los Angeles Times columnist Eric Sondheimer said that he has the potential to be “an outstanding power forward.” He was also named one of the top point guard prospects by ESPN and other national scouting services. offers. “It showed me that all of my hard work was finally paying off.”

After receiving the offers, Edosomwan said that he paid attention to the academic caliber of the schools, particularly as it relates to his desire to major in medicine.

“What’s important is that I want to go to a good academic school,” he said. “I always thought, if basketball didn’t work out, and, God forbid something happened to me and I was injured, I want to be able to get a good job and a good education that I could depend on.”

Edosomwan acknowledged that Harvard did not fit in with the rest of the schools, as it is not a well-known basketball powerhouse, but said that its academic strength as well as the coaching staff attracted him. 

“It’s Harvard,” he said. “It’s the best school in the world. Also, I really have built a relationship with the coaching staff there. I see where the program is looking to go in terms of basketball, and the academics are already there.”

In addition to the AAU tournaments, colleges scouted Edosomwan during last year’s high school season, according to Head Coach Greg Hilliard. He said that the “travel ball” games where coaches are watching don’t show the entire picture.

“It’s sort of like watching an NBA All-star game, where no defense is played, and kids run up and down and do their dunks and all of this sort of thing, and the college coaches know that it only shows them a little bit of the picture,” Hilliard said. “So [by watching] the high school season with organized defense with x’s and o’s, they can see if the player functions well in that situation.”

Edosomwan also participated in various invitation-only basketball camps, such as the NBA Top 100, where he was coached by Luke Walton and Steve Blake of the Los Angeles Lakers, and Adidas Nations, where he was a part of team Africa.

Going forward, Edosomwan said that he plans on visiting the schools that remain on his list. He has scheduled “official visits” with Cal, Harvard, USC and Wake Forest, and will likely visit one additional school. He is limited by NCAA rules to five “official visits,” where his expenses are paid for by the university.

“He has just shot from being a person who none of the colleges were interested in a year ago to thirty legitimate offers,” Hilliard said.

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