2005 Target: Uche Echefu

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Uche (oo-chay) Echefu (eh-chay-foo) is a name fans may need to get to know well. A 6-8, 225 pound power forward for Montrose Christian Academy (Rockville, MD), Echefu’s athleticism and physical prowess is drawing heavy attention from some of the nations top Division I programs.

“Uche is 6-8, 225 pounds, and he plays either the three or the four,” Montrose Christian Assistant Coach David Atkins said. “He has a tremendous body. He’s very strong, athletic, and his upside is tremendous. He has the chance to be very, very good.

“A lot of schools have been in to see him. Virginia, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, NC State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Kansas, and Lousiville have all seen him or expressed heavy interest. He has no offers right now, but I’ll be shocked if he can’t go wherever he wants to go. He’s got that kind of potential.”

A native of Nigeria, Echefu has been very effective since coming to Montrose Christian. He led the team in scoring as a junior this season, averaging 16 points per game. He also pulled down eight boards per contest in helping Montrose Christian to a 25-4 record, a number three ranking in the DC area, and a number 22 National ranking.

What stands out the most to colleges right now is Echefu’s physical prowess, which is comparable to that of a college or pro player according to Coach Atkins.

“He has a college body,” Atkins said. “He may even have a pro body right now. He’s built like the Greek Adonis. I mean he’s cut. Coach Belien of West Virginia was in here, and he couldn’t believe it. Uche still has a learning curve in basketball, but he’s got the physical attributes right now. He works extremely hard to get better, so I have no doubt he will become a better player. He’s the kind of kid you have to tell to stop working so hard.”

Both Virginia and Virginia Tech have been in to see Echefu. Virginia Tech has even targeted him since last year.

“Virginia sat down with Uche, and they like him a lot,” Atkins said. “Virginia Tech has been in on him since this time last year. Coach [Eric] Skeeters has been talking to us for a long time about him. Uche doesn’t have any favorites right now though. We haven’t even talked much about recruiting yet.”

Uchefu will play in a few tournaments such as the Nike Camp this summer, however will not be involved fully in the AAU circuit.