May 19, 2014
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The Seton Hall men’s basketball team added a sixth member to its heralded recruiting class as Our Savior New American standout Michael Nzei (Centereach, N.Y.) made his decision to attend The Hall official by signing a National Letter of Intent. The 6-foot-8 forward who hails from Nigeria joins a decorated group that includes McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln), Khadeen Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin), Angel Delgado (Bronx, N.Y./Patrick School), Desi Rodriguez (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln) and Ismael Sanogo (Newark, N.J./East Side High School).
“Mike is a versatile forward who brings a high level of energy to the court and can be an asset on both ends of the floor. We are thrilled to have him join our family here at Seton Hall,” said head coach Kevin Willard. “Mike certainly complements this recruiting class well and adds another option to our front court.”
Nzei and many of his future Pirate teammates have taken the same floor before, as he teamed with Delgado to take on Carrington, Rodriguez and Sanogo in the Jordan Brand Classic’s Regional Game at the Barclays Center in April.
A key presence for an Our Savior New American team that finished with a 28-3 record in 2013-14 and earned a #9 ranking by USA Today, Nzei has consistently excelled against top prep competition; both domestically and on the international scene. As a member of Team Africa at the prestigious Adidas Nations tournament last summer, he led a field that featured many of the highest regarded prospects in the class of 2014 with 10.6 rebounds per game. The athletic combo forward also averaged 12.6 points and one block per contest, helping his squad to a third-place finish; the best showing among the five international squads.
A veteran member of the Nigerian National Basketball Team system, Nzei also represented his native country at the 2012 Afrobasket U18 Championships in Mozambique.
A noted defensive presence with an ability to block and alter shots, he has also displayed a perimeter touch on the offensive end to complement his athletic ability. Recently, he emerged as one of the premier prospects at the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest. As a member of the New Heights AAU program, Nzei scored 11 points in the championship game to help guide his team to victory.
Seton Hall’s 2014 recruiting class is rated as high as sixth according to the HoopScoopOnline.com. The Pirates’ class was also ranked 12th in the nation by ESPN.com and stood among the top-15 on the CBSSports.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com rankings as well. All six will be freshmen in the fall and will have four years of eligibility.