Michigan basketball officially introduces its biggest transfer get and former Tennessee Volunteer

It was a magical rollercoaster of a ride for Michigan to land the Tennessee transfer, Olivier Nkamhoua. When the Finland native entered the portal, he was originally thought to be a Michigan lean, but Nkamhoua wanted to test the professional route.

Once he didn’t receive an NBA Combine invite, he wanted to visit different colleges. Nkahmoua took visits to Michigan, Kansas State, Baylor, and West Virginia. Following a visit to Michigan, reports came out stating he eliminated the Wolverines from contention — big blow.

But something incredible happened and Nkamhoua ultimately committed and signed with the Wolverines as a graduate transfer for the 2023-2024 season. The 6-foot-9 forward was a big part of the Tennessee rotation last season. He averaged 10.8 points and five rebounds last season while starting every game.

You can read the entire press release below via MGoBlue:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — David and Meredith Kaplan U-M Basketball Head Coach Juwan Howard announced Thursday (June 7) the addition of Finland native and 6-9 forward Olivier Nkamhoua (Tennessee) as a graduate transfer for the 2023-24 season. Nkamhoua becomes U-M basketball’s sixth graduate transfer.

“It’s a thrill to be able to bring in an efficient and skilled player like Olivier,” said Howard. “He brings so many intangibles and experiences we know he will have an immediate impact for us. His strength, rebounding, hustle, back-to-the-basket game as well right away. However, what people don’t realize is what a tremendous passer he is. He sees the floor and plays develop as good as anyone I have seen. We are very excited for him to get to Ann Arbor.”

“Choosing Michigan is another step in my development, both now and for the future,” said Nkamhoua. “I know the staff, my new teammates and everyone in Ann Arbor are going to challenge me to keep getting better. I can’t wait for that. I also want to be a part of the U-M culture Coach Howard has created — family and that never- back- down attitude. I look forward to being a part of a team full of guys that are hungry to prove themselves and everyone wrong.”

Nkamhoua spent the last four seasons playing for Rick Barnes at Tennessee (2020-23) where he played in 112 games (58 starts), compiling a 70-28 record. With the Volunteers, Nkamhoua made three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament (2021, ’22, ’23) reaching the Sweet 16 in 2023. In 2022, he helped UT win the SEC Tournament title — the first in 43 years and fifth in program history.

Posting 27 double-figure scoring games, he compiled 733 career points (6.5 ppg). He scored career-best 27 points, twice: Texas (Jan. 28, 2023) and vs. Duke (March 18, 2023, NCAA). He adds 330 rebounds (3.8 rpg) as he recorded 37 games of five-plus and six games with 10-plus. He grabbed a career-best 14 boards against UT-Martin (Nov. 9, 2021). Overall, he notched four double-doubles.

Last season, Nkamhoua was the lone Volunteer to start all 36 games (25-11) as he averaged 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He led UT with 32 dunks while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. Highlighting 2022-23, he had a career-best 73 assists (2.0 apg), which was nearly three times more than any prior season.

Shooting 51.8 percent from the field for his career, Nkamhoua has expanded his game, draining 31 three-pointers over the last two seasons after making just one in his first two seasons. He made a career-best 18 triples last year and shot 36.4 percent.

In addition to his collegiate career, Nkamhoua continues to compete with the Finland National Team. He has more than seven International Friendlies under his belt, scoring in double figures in each game. In 2022, he played in four FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers and was a member of the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship team.

With Nkamhoua’s addition, Michigan has brought in a graduate transfer in each of the last four seasons — guard Mike Smith (Columbia; 2020-21), guard DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina; 2021-22), guard Joey Baker(Duke; 2022-23) and guard Jaelin Llewellyn (Princeton; 2022-23).

Former Wolverine guard Jaaron Simmons (Ohio) was U-M’s first ever grad transfer in 2017-18. Simmons, who currently serves as the Wolverines video analyst, helped the Maize and Blue a second straight Big Ten Tournament title as well as the Final Four (San Antonio) and national title game vs. Villanova.

Pronunciation: first: “OH-liv-ee-AY” | last: “KAHM-wuh”

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Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire