Obi picks Duke

Apr. 21, 2014 @ 10:28 PM

Duke landed a talented big man for its future Monday night when Sean Obi announced his plans to transfer and play for the Blue Devils.

Obi, a 6-9, 260-pound forward, played at Rice as a freshman last season. He led Conference USA in rebounding with 9.3 per game while also averaging 11.4 points.

A native of Kaduna, Nigeria, Obi graduated from Green Farms Academy in Greenwich, Conn., before playing last season at Rice. He will have to sit out the 2014-15 season under NCAA transfer rules.

Obi made his choice of Duke known Monday night via social media.

“Duke it is!” Obi wrote on Instagram next to a large Duke logo.

On his Twitter feed, Obi wrote, “Happy to officially announce that I will be attending Duke university for the rest of my college career.”

In addition to leading Conference USA in rebounding, Obi made 59.1 percent of his shots to finish No. 4 in the conference.

He decided to transfer last month and visited Duke last Friday and Saturday. He had previously visited Vanderbilt. Michigan and Northwestern also expressed interest in him.

“Very thankful for all the support and love from my family and friends all over,” Obi wrote on Instagram, “and also to every college coach that have (sic) called and been involved with me throughout this process.”

Obi made the Conference USA all-freshman team as well as earning his way onto the C-USA Honor Roll. He started 29 of Rice’s 30 games. The only time he was not in the starting lineup was on senior night.

As Rodney Hood did in the 2012-13 season after transferring from Mississippi State, Obi will be able to practice with Duke but will not play in games this season.