A native of Nigeria, Frank Ben-Eze entered Bishop O’Connell High School (Arlington, VA) one year ago. A 6-10, 225-pound center, Ben-Eze had only been playing basketball since the age of 15, so he certainly was raw as a junior last season. He has improved since his arrival, though, and is now up to four scholarship offers according to Bishop O’Connell head coach Joe Wootten.
Ben-Eze’s defense and rebounding are ahead of his offense right now, but the senior big man is working hard to improve in all areas.
“He actually came in on September 11th last year, so it has been exactly a year since he’s been here,” Wootten said. “He came from Nigeria. He has only played basketball since he was 15. He played soccer up until that time, so basketball is still a new game to him. He works tremendously hard. We track the amount of shots our players take in the offseason and he has shot 32,000 shots since April 1st. He is an extremely hard worker. I think his upside is tremendous. He is a great athlete…he is strong, quick and mobile. He just needs to gain experience.”
According to Wootten, Ben-Eze has received scholarship offers from Harvard, Marquette, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Notre Dame is among the other programs expressing strong interest, but Wootten feels that the other four “are probably his top tier of schools.”
The two ACC programs first began showing interest last year with the interest increasing this past spring.
“Virginia and Virginia Tech both saw him when he first got to O’Connell,” Wootten said. “When they saw him again this spring, I think they were amazed at the improvement he had made. He is very raw. He has work to do, but he has improved a lot.”
Ben-Eze made an official visit to Marquette the first weekend in September and is scheduled to go to Virginia Tech tomorrow for an official visit. Harvard has received a visit as well.
“Harvard is there,” Wootten said. “He made an unofficial visit there in August. They got in really early, so he has developed a really good relationship with those coaches.
“I think he liked [visits to Harvard and Marquette] a lot. He likes those coaches a lot. He liked each school. Frank is very interested in Engineering. I think he...
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