8th Grader Gets College Scout Attention from DePaul, Illinois

As a teenage boy, you grow up thinking about going to play college basketball.

You watch games on ESPN, CBS, Big Ten Network, or anyone other station that provides college basketball, and you dream of being there some day.

Well, for 14 year old Jahil Okafor, that dream is slowly, but surely, becoming reality.

During the middle of February this year, Okafor, a distant cousin of Emeka Okafor, received his first scholarship offer from DePaul.

The to-be freshman already stands at 6’9″, and is expected to grow to 7′, or even possibly as tall as 7’3″.

Okafor is a very dominant rebounder and scorer in the paint because he is tall, strong, and very hard to handle when he gets inside. But he can also hurt you with a solid perimeter game as well.

He attended Rosemont Elementary School in Rosemont, Illinois. And it has been noted that he “routinely dominates Rosemont Elementary School District basketball games with rebounds, blocks, and ferocious dunks.”

DePaul’s athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto had some very positive thought about Okafor and him possibly playing for DePaul.

“This is a young guy we’ve been talking with for a long time, and who has been to games and we have a relationship with because his uncle works for the Rosemont Police Department,” Ponsetto said.

“I think it’s a prospect who has grown up around DePaul basketball. I think he’s probably a fan and someone who has been a fan for some time, since we have played in Rosemont for the last 30 years.”

Jahil’s father said they were thrilled by the offer, but they don’t play on making some sort of commitment anytime soon.

Now, four months later, something else dramatic has picked us in his recruiting process.

This past weekend, Okafor was invited to visit the campus at the University of Illinois—himself and his family even got to have breakfast with the Illinois coaches.

During his visit, he also got to play some basketball against the current Illinois players, in which he matched up against Mike Tisdale.

Once all was said and done, Okafor said that he enjoyed the campus visit very much, and that he could see himself playing for Illinois once he gets to that point—he also said that same thing about playing for DePaul.

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