Let’s establish a pair of premises.
First, Chapmanville’s Obinna Anochili-Killen is the best high school boys basketball player in West Virginia as well as the state’s top college prospect in 2019-20.
Second, the 6-foot-8, 200-pound rising senior is No. 1 on Marshall University’s recruiting board.
Both are very easy to understand.
Just watch the long, lithe, uber-athletic native of Lagos, Nigeria play.
Three Thundering Herd coaches — head coach Danny D’Antoni along with assistants Mark Cline and Cornelius Jackson — did precisely that during Marshall’s team camp last week.
They watched Anochili-Killen play three games in one day.
In Chapmansville’s first game, Anochili-Killen led the Tigers to a 54-47 win over Ottawa Glandorf — a high school in the Toledo, Ohio area — scoring 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting with five rebounds, two slam dunks, two blocked shots and one steal.
Next, Chapmanville defeated South Charleston 50-41 as Anochili-Killen scored 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor and 3 for 3 at the foul line. He also added nine rebounds, two slam dunks and a pair of blocked shots.
Finally, there was the most competitive game of the day, vs. Bluefield. As expected, Anochili-Killen really stepped up by scoring 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting with 12 rebounds, three slam dunks and three blocked shots.
Talk about convincing performances.
It’s easy to understand why Marshall covets Anochili-Killen. He’s so overwhelmingly athletic, Anochili-Killen actually could play each and every position — one through five — in D’Antoni’s fluid, ever-morphing style of play.
“I take pride in defense,” said Anochili-Killen. “I block shots and run the floor well. I shoot it some. I’m a versatile player. I can play up and down, in and out.”
With his 7-foot-3 wing-span, Anochili-Killen can defend, rebound and block shots in the front court. And with his surprisingly adept ball-handling, he can play on the perimeter.
Not that Anochili-Killen doesn’t have some weaknesses. He does. But the best part is he realizes it.
“I need to improve on my ball-handling and my shooting, of course,” he said. “I’m trying to improve that part of my game. In high school, I usually play the ‘five’ position [center]. But in college, I think I will be a ‘three’ [small forward] or a ‘stretch four’ [power forward who also plays outside]. So I’m trying to improve the outside part of my game more.
“I’m trying to raise my confidence in my ball-handling — and my shooting, too. I think as time progresses, I am going to improve on that.”
Impressive, isn’t he?
That’s why Marshall is in quite the recruiting battle for this 3-star prospect, according to 247 Sports.
Anochili-Killen also has been offered scholarships by Akron, East Tennessee State, Evansville, George Mason, George Washington, Ohio, Old Dominion, Penn State, Rhode Island, Temple, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth.
Any favorites, Obinna?
“Recruiting-wise, I want to go to a place that plays my style of basketball — more of the proper fit,” he said. “And education-wise, I’m a big education guy, too. I want to study engineering, so I’m looking for a school to have that, too.
“I like coaches, too. The relationship with coaches is important. I want to go to a place where they can develop me for the next level.”
The clock isn’t ticking, either. Anochili-Killen doesn’t have a timetable for committing.
“I’m going to take my time,” he said. “I’m going to wait until this July period is over and after AAU. Then I’m going to sit down with my family and I’m going to decide what I want to do next — the next chapter.”
Anochili-Killen is going to make some lucky school an outstanding student-athlete.
D’Antoni is keeping his fingers crossed hoping it’s Marshall.