It remains to be seen whether Riverdale Baptist big man Chinanu Onuaku will commit to Maryland – the understated Onuaku’s not one to give away much inside information – but apparently it nearly happened earlier this summer.
“I guess that at the NBA camp, he got a strong rapport with Melo and the other kid that’s going to Maryland, and they kind of hit it off really well," said Onuaku’s high school coach, Lou Wilson. "And they were talking about him committing to Maryland right away, and I guess he came away thinking about committing then."
But the 6-foot-10 power forward tapped the brakes after returning home, deciding to let his recruitment play out for a little while, or perhaps longer. Onuaku, who later visited Maryland and watched the NBA Draft with the team, isn’t ready to seal the deal -- or even name a few favorite schools.
“He really is close to the vest," Wilson said. "At one point he was thinking about making a decision, but now I think he’s planning to do it around the middle of the season, or maybe even at the end of the season."
Playing alongside Trimble for D.C. Assault, Onuaku has consistently performed well against top-flight competition this summer. After entering the AAU season unknown to many, he’s now an established national prospect, one who recently jumped nearly 50 spots in the 247Sports rankings, to No. 68.
Miami, Cincinnati, Kansas State, UConn and Xavier have all joined Maryland in chasing hard after Onuaku, a powerful defender and rebounder who’s still just 16 years old heading into his senior year.
“His offense is still a work in progress, but he’s only 16 and he can affect the game on the defensive end. His rim protection is really, really good,” Wilson said. "If his offense catches up, look out."
At Riverdale Baptist, a successful program for years under Wilson, Onuaku will be joined next season by a couple of Division I prospects: 6-foot-9 Montrose Christian transfer Taron Oliver and guard Kenny Wormley, who transferred from Good Counsel.