“We have fun every day when we walk into the gym,” he said at the Southern California basketball coaches tipoff luncheon at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
What has Enfield excited and confident is not only the quality of his recruiting class, but the fact that all five players spent four years at their respective high school, a rarity in the era of transfer mania. They’ve displayed the kind of loyalty, leadership and dedication that could make for a special college experience.
“It’s unusual to have five freshmen who played four years at the same high school,” Enfield said. “The key is they came from winning programs and they’re winners themselves. They’ve helped their teams win state championships, City championships, CIF championships.”
The 6-foot-9 Okongwu made a positive impression during USC’s 11-day summer trip to Europe, averaging 20.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in three games.
“I thought Big O was terrific as a freshman in high school,” Enfield said. “Now he’s a freshman in college and it’s surreal he’s four years older. He won a state championship as a freshman, won two more as a junior and senior, and was state player of the year. He’s done everything you can ask for as a player. He’s an exceptional young man.”
USC will open its season with an exhibition game Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. at Galen Center against national power Villanova. All proceeds from the game will benefit the California Fire Foundation, which provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters.