Irish NBA prospect Aidan Harris Igiehon has finally announced where he will play college basketball next year, with the Louisville Cardinals winning the recruitment race.
The 'Irish Hulk' announced his decision at his high school Lawrence Woodmere Academy, with the event streamed live online.
He had narrowed his final choice down to four colleges, with Kentucky, Oregon and St. John's also receiving consideration. Igiehon is ranked as the 36th best high school player in the country by ESPN.
Louisville has landed their 6th commitment in the 2019 class & 5th in the ESPN 💯 from ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ big man Aidan Igiehon pic.twitter.com/ZZxdmuuBgz
— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) October 19, 2018
Born and raised in Clondalkin, Igiehon took up basketball at the age of 12. He soon experienced a growth spurt which seen him grow by 10 inches in less than a year.
Now standing at a remarkable 6'10", he moved on a scholarship to the US in 2016. Having originally struggled to adapt, he has since thrived in his new surroundings.
The Dublin native must remain in college for at least one year before entering the NBA draft, meaning he will be eligible to enter the league in 2020. He may choose to remain in school for a longer period of time, although most top prospects elect to play college basketball for a solitary year before turning pro.
In what is a nod to his rapid development since his move to the US, nbadraft.net currently predicts him to go as the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
Ultimately the lure of helping return Louisville to the elite of the NCAA was too much to turn down. The school won the National Championship as recently as 2013, but failed to make the NCAA Tournament this year.
Igiehon told 247sports why he elected for the Cardinals.
It’s one thing to be wanted and another thing to be needed and I kind of felt like I was needed when I went on my visit. Coach Mack showed me the roster and the blueprint he had setup. When I went on my official the city embraced me and they kind of like exploded the second I was there.
My other officials were nice but the Louisville visit was crazy. Fans everywhere going crazy and with the basketball team it’s just the beginning. The ability of them to develop players, their staff is well-equipped to develop a player such as myself.
Louisville were embroiled in a scandal in 2017, when it was alleged that they played a part in offering a top recruit money to play for the school. That was in violation of NCAA rules, which stipulate that college athletes must remain as amateurs.
They were stripped of their 2013 National Championship win as a result, while long-time head coach Rick Pitino also left his post.
They are now seeking to rebuild their image under the tutelage of Chris Mack, and Igiehon will play a major role in that during his stay at the school.