Hogs Add Gabe Osahuobien To Already Impressive 2017 Class



Just days after Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson announced that one of his players was transferring from the basketball program, the Razorbacks wasted no time in filling the scholarship and welcoming Gabe Osahuobien, a 6-7 combo forward from Southwest Christian Academy (Little Rock) by way of Toronto.

Osahuobien, who had been recruited and evaluated by the Hogs for all of the 2016-17 season, will sign a financial aid agreement with Arkansas before enrolling soon to join his fellow freshmen teammates — Daniel Gafford, Khalil Garland, and Darious Hall — who will arrive in Fayetteville on Sunday. Hog coaches had been to see Osabuohien play multiple times in the past year, culminating with Osabuohien’s unofficial visit to Arkansas on April 20.

“He’s really wanted to go there all along,” SCA head coach Charles Baker said of Gabe Osabuohien. “He loves the way they play. He really likes coach Anderson & coach Watkins, & he’s gotten to know some of the players who just signed (with Arkansas).”

Gabe Osahuobien (pronounced Osa-boy-en) held offers from Little Rock, Murray State, East Tennessee State, Illinois-Chicago, and Louisiana-Monroe, and received steady interest from high-major programs like Iowa State, Missouri, LSU, and Memphis, among others.

Freshman forward Brachen Hazen — who played all of 42 minutes in 14 games with the Hogs in ’16-17 — had been arranging for a week to obtain a release from Arkansas to transfer when Anderson informed reporters of Hazen’s intentions on Monday during his annual charity golf event in Northwest Arkansas.

Osabuohien —  who was considering a couple of high-major possibilities and nearing a decision with other schools — told me on Monday that he was still interested in Arkansas, and apparently that interest was mutual as Anderson and the Hogs fast-tracked his addition to the program to maximize their 13-scholarship limit. He becomes Arkansas’s fifth signee in the 2017 class — in addition to the aforementioned trio of Gafford, Garland, and Hall, the Hogs added New Mexico transfer point guard Jalen Harris in late April as part of the signed ’17 class.

Playing on a loaded SCA team coached by Charles Baker, Osabuohien was a versatile, athletic force for the Lions, who went 34-3 last year including winning the National Association of Christian Athletes national title, as well as winning the competitive Texas Christian Athletic League. Osabuohien looks to be between 6-7 and 6-8 on a sturdy frame. He has good athleticism and plus-length (wingspan of 7-feet-plus), and he can play the 3 and the 4. His size and game looks to be a fit for the Hogs’ system that prefers undersized-but-athletic combo-4s (reminiscent of former Hogs Coty Clarke, Alandise Harris, Jacorey Williams, and Adrio Bailey).

Osabuohien’s best game might have been against nationally ranked Hamilton Heights (featuring Kentucky signee Shai Alexander and Virginia Tech signee Nickeil Alexander-Walker) when he recorded a double-double — 21 points and 13 rebounds — in late January at the HotBed Classic in New Albany, MS. He also played well with Gafford, Garland, and Hall in a couple of high school all-star games back in April.

Three of Osabuohien’s senior teammates at SCA — Avery Benson (Texas Tech), Mladen Armus (East Tennessee State), and Emir Ahmedic (Oral Roberts) — have already signed with NCAA Division 1 schools. A fifth senior teammate — Jevon “JJ” Brown — is still considering his college options. Last year, Baker had Eric Curry (Minnesota) and Tyrik Dixon (Middle Tennessee State) not only ink with Division 1 schools, but play significant roles on teams that made the NCAA tournament.

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Kevin McPherson is a former sportswriter and editor at both the Arkansas Gazette and Arkansas Democrat, as well as a former contributor to newspapers in Northwest Arkansas — covering Arkansas Razorbacks basketball, high school football and basketball, and basketball recruiting. He’s entering his 13th year as a mortgage banker with Bank of England, but he still covers Razorback basketball and recruiting as well as high school sports. You can join him live every Monday and Thursday at 1:30 CST on The Hog Call, KREB 1190 The Fan in Northwest Arkansas by clicking here: http://1190thefan.com/listen-live/ You can also follow him live on Twitter @ARHoopScoop.

 Gabe Osahuobien


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