New Cal basketball coach Cuonzo Martin signed his first recruit, adding center Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-foot-1, 260-pound native of England, to the Bears’ roster for the 2014-15 season.
Okoroh played last season at Westwind Prep in Phoenix, where he averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists.
“I like Kingsley’s ability to block shots and protect the rim,” Martin said. “He continues to make great strides with his offense. I think he has a bright future in front of him and has a chance to be really good.”
Meanwhile, the Bears lost four-star point guard Ahmaad Rorie of Tacoma, Wash., who asked to be released from the letter-of-intent he signed in November. Cal still has four available scholarships.
Okoroh, unrated among the nation’s top high school prospects, nonetheless provides the Bears with size they badly need.
A native of Derby, England, Okoroh originally attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., where he played alongside current Cleveland Cavaliers forward and 2013 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett. Okoroh then returned home to England to complete high school before enrolling at Westwind Prep for a post-graduate year.
Okoroh is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in Europe by ESPN’s recruiting services.
Okoroh also has four years of international playing experience as a member of England’s junior national team. In nine games at the 2013 U18 European Championship (Division A) in Latvia, he averaged 8.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game. His best outing was a 16-point, 15-rebound performance during a 71-58 win over Ukraine.
At the 2011 U16 European Championship (Division B), Okoroh earned All-Tournament Team honors after leading the tournament in both rebounding (11.4 rpg) and blocks (4.3 bpg).
In March 2011, Okoroh was one of 40 elite European players to receive an invitation to the Jordan Brand Classic event in Surrey, England.