May 16, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Uche Echefu, who averaged a near double-double of 21.2 points and 9.0 rebounds as a senior at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md., has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Florida State University and play men’s basketball for head coach Leonard Hamilton. Echefu is one of the most coveted recruits in the nation this year and propels the Seminoles’ recruiting class to rank among the nation’s best for the third consecutive year.
Echefu, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, announced his collegiate intentions at a press conference at Montrose Christian Monday afternoon. The 6-9, 230-pound athlete is ranked as 34th best high school player in the nation by Scout.com. The Rivals.com recruiting service rates him No. 45 among the nation’s top high school seniors. He is a versatile player who has the ability to play both inside near the basket and outside on the perimeter.
“Uche chose Florida State because of the relationship he has developed with Coach Hamilton and his staff during the last three years,” said Montrose head coach Stu Vetter. “His family is in Nigeria and the relationship he has with the coaching staff is very important to him. Uche is a very athletic 6-9 player who continues to learn the game each time he steps on the court. He has the potential to be an outstanding player in the ACC.”
Echefu helped Montrose to a 23-3 record in 2005 and a cumulative record of 68-8 (.895 winning percentage) during his three-year career under renowned Head Coach Stu Vetter. Montrose was ranked No. 9 in the East Region final rankings by USA Today Newspaper. He earned Most Valuable Player honors for his team at the 32nd annual Capital Classic in April as he scored 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds in a game played at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University. Echefu made eight of his 11 shots from the field during the all-star game. He also played well in the Derby Festival Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville. Ky., where he pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds in April.
Echefu, who has been playing organized basketball for only three years, was an All-Met First Team selection by the Washington Post and chosen as the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Maryland in 2005 after leading the Mustangs to a No. 5 regional ranking. In addition to averaging a near double-double, he shot 60 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free throw line as a senior. One of the nation’s top ranked teams, Montrose was the pre-season selection as the No. 9 ranked team in the nation. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots as a junior.
“Uche was very fortunate to have played for head coach Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian which is one of the top five high school programs in the country,” said Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton. He is a very good athlete who has a tremendous work ethic and an incredibly competitive spirit. Under coach Vetter and his staff, Uche improved in every facet of his game during the three-year period he was at Montrose.”
“Uche has very good speed and quickness, shoots the ball well from the perimeter and has a very effective post game,” continued Hamilton. “We feel that his versatility will allow him to fit very well into our offensive and defensive systems. He is even more exceptional as a person and was named the Christian Athlete of the Year at Montrose in addition to performing extremely well in the class room. Uche is a winner and we feel very fortunate to have him as a part of our program.”
Echefu, who has earned a 3.4 grade point average during his high school academic career, intends to major in business administration. He selected Florida State over North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Maryland and Michigan.
Echefu joins a recruiting class that includes Casaan Breeden (Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County) and Ryan Reid (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Boyd Anderson). Breeden and Reid signed to play for the Seminoles during the early signing period in November.