Thursday, April 28, 2011

God's Gift Answers St. John's Prayers

St. John's basketball coach Steve Lavin announced today that God's Gift Achiuwa signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Red Storm in 2011-12.  The bruising post-player chose the Johnnies over Cincinnati and Washington.

This is the second big acquisition by Lavin during the spring signing period.  Last week Phil Greene, a sought-after guard from Chicago, signed with St. John's too.

The 6 foot-nine, 240 pound Achiuwa is a 2011 JUCO First Team All-American from Erie Community College.  He led the team to a 28-4 record and averaged 22.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.  He also shot 56% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the three-point line.

Besides having to live up to one of the great names in college basketball, Achiuwa will be playing under the New York media's spotlight.   Just picture the tabloid's back page headlines. The Nigerian minister's son seems ready for the attention.

"I am excited to come to St. John's and New York City," he said.  "They are a running team and that's what I like, fast paced basketball."

Achiuwa joins eight other top-rated recruits who have already signed with the Red Storm for 2011-12.  Standing out on St. John's No. 2 rated recruiting class (by ESPN and may not be easy but, the Nigerian may be the most imposing body on a team that is already fast and big.

Lavin thinks heaven is the limit for his new signee.  "He's an ideal fit for our baseline-to-baseline attacking style of play," the head coach said.

Lavin, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer, continues to show no sign of letting it slow him down.  He inherited ten seniors in his first season as head coach of St. John's last year and lead the team to a 21-12 record and it's first NCAA tournament in nine years. The 2011-12 team will be Lavin's own team and it looks like it's ready for the rough-and-tumble Big East.

You might think the Red Storm have completed their stockpile of blue-chippers for next year but, the scary thing is, they still have two scholarship places left on the roster.

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