Huntley boys basketball standout Amanze Egekeze's college recruitment concluded Thursday night when the senior-to-be verbally committed to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Belmont, an Ohio Valley Conference school that has gained NCAA Tournament berths six of the past eight seasons, made an offer to the 6-foot-7 forward/center during an official campus visit last weekend. After three days of consideration, Egekeze phoned the Bruins' staff Thursday evening to accept.
"They're a winning program, Nashville's a great city and the players are great," said Egekeze, who plays AAU ball with the Illinois Wolves. "When you put that all together, it's a no-brainer. My plan coming in to this month off from (AAU) was to just see what happens in July and give myself some time, but there was really nothing left to wait for. They made it really clear that they wanted me, and they've been really consistent as far as recruiting me with phone calls. It wasn't overwhelming, but it was enough that it kept my attention."
Egekeze sat out the first half of the 2012-13 season due to September surgery to address patellar tendinitis. He returned in January and competed in the final 13 games of the season. An all-area selection, he averaged 12.3 points per game on 59-of-135 shooting and 5.9 rebounds. He blocked 25 shots.
Egekeze said he could not have imagined a better fit for himself at the next level.
"There is a need for me there," he said. "They had three or four guys in my position that are graduating next year, so I have a chance to go there and be an impact player every day for a winning program. I had to think about it Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday I pretty much knew what I wanted to do and I made it official (Thursday).
"I felt it was better to commit now than find out in July that Belmont didn't have anymore spots. They had offered four other kids in my class and three other kids at my position, so it would have been a bit of a risk waiting."
Egekeze carries a 3.4 grade-point average at Huntley. He said he will likely study business at Belmont.