Former Rice forward Sean Obi announced his decision to transfer to Duke Monday night via social media.
The 6-foot-9 big man visited campus last weekend before ultimately choosing the Blue Devils. In addition to a photo posted to his Instagram account, Obi also posted a statement cementing his intent to come to Durham next fall.
“Happy to officially announce that I will be attending Duke university for the rest of my college basketball career. Very thankful for all the support and love from my family and friends all over, and also to every college Coach that have called and been in involved with me through out this process. Duke it is!!”
A native of Nigeria, Obi impressed in his first and only season at Rice, nearly averaging a double-double for the Owls with 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a freshman. His work on the boards was good enough to lead Conference-USA in rebounding as well as rank second in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage at 30.6. Obi also shot 59.1 percent from the field and averaged 26.4 minutes per game last season with Rice.
Obi’s decision to transfer comes a month after the Owls fired head coach Ben Braun. With Braun gone, Obi began his search for a new team, also giving consideration to Michigan and Vanderbilt.
Obi also took to social media during his campus visit this past weekend, detailing his experience via Twitter. He did not take long to make his decision, as Duke ended up winning the sweepstakes for the power forward’s services just one day after his trip concluded.
With Obi on board, the Blue Devils begin to fill the void left at forward in the wake of announcements by Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood last week that they would declare for the NBA Draft.
Obi will join Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen as a member of one of Duke’s most highly-touted batch of newcomers in program history.
As was the case with Hood, Obi must sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He joins Class of 2015 guard Luke Kennard as the only two players currently slated to appear in a Duke uniform for the first time during the 2015-16 season.
During his season-long wait, Obi will be able to practice with the team. With Okafor—the consensus top recruit in the nation—to compete against, Obi will have time to strengthen his post game as well as acclimate to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s system.
At 265 pounds, Obi will also serve as a big body for Okafor to battle during practice, as redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee is the only other player on Duke’s roster that weighs more than 240 pounds.
With the possibility that Okafor could follow in the footsteps of Parker and Hood and leave Durham after one season on the hardwood, Obi would provide Duke with more stability in the post in 2015-16.