On Monday, Phoenix Westwind Prep senior 7-footer Kingsley Okoroh announced his college basketball decision, and fans rejoiced. The next day, he pledged his devotion again — to a different school.
Okoroh's strange 24 hours coincided with coach Cuonzo Martin's move from the University of Tennessee to California. Because Okoroh had not signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Volunteers, he was free to follow Martin to the Bears, but rarely does such a scenario play out so plainly on social media.
Just committed to the university of Tennessee! Can't wait to play in the SEC next year
— Kingsley Okoroh (@Kingokoroh) April 14, 2014
On Twitter, dozens of Tennesssee faithful shared congratulations in response to Okoroh's commitment, another 300 retweeted his message and nearly 400 favorited the tweet. The local media lauded Cuonzo's recruiting coup. After all, he averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and four assists for Westwind this past season. He also averaged 8.9 points and 8.1 boards for England's U-18 National Team last summer.
The following day, however, Cuonzo jumped ship from the school he led to the Sweet 16 last month, and Okoroh followed faithfully to Cal. Once again, the 7-footer received mass support from the fanbase.
I announce my commitment to the University of California Berkeley. I'm very excited to be a BEAR !
— Kingsley Okoroh (@Kingokoroh) April 15, 2014
Meanwhile, the Vols players Martin left behind can't follow him to Cal without sitting out for a year. So it goes in the NCAA, where student athletes are held to a higher standard than the men who lead them.
(h/t Big Lead)