Obekpa changes his mind, will play junior year for Red Storm

Red Storm hoops fans blew a sigh of relief on Friday when men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin broke the news that his rim protecting shot blocker will be back for the 2014-2015 season.  Sophomore center Chris Obekpa was granted a release from St. John’s earlier this month, giving him the right to transfer which would have been a big blow to the Red Storms defensive presence.

After talking with team members and Coach Lavin, Obekpa decided to return for another season of Red Storm basketball.

“I’ve had good conversations with Coach Lavin over the past week.  After giving consideration to transferring it’s become clear that it makes sense to continue my career as a student-athlete at St. John’s,” Obekpa said.  Lavin added, “Chris approached me last week to communicate his change of heart and wishes to stay at St. John’s.”

Obekpa led the Big East for the past two seasons finishing this year with 2.9 blocks per game ranking him 11th in the nation.  As a freshman, his 4.03 blocks per game led all of NCAA Division One players and his 133 blocks for the season broke the St. John’s and Big East rookie record.  Obekpa has tallied a school-record 227 swats for his career and counting.

When asked about coming back Obekpa made it sound like he and his teammates have something to prove for the 2014-2015 campaign.

“I am determined to help St. John’s continue the climb up the mountain,” Obekpa said.  “My brothers and I have unfinished business.”