Coaches tried to dissuade him, but Zena Edosomwan had his mind made up. So here are the basketball schools one of the nation's top 100 recruits said no to, according to SI.com: UCLA, USC, Cal, Washington, Texas, Wake Forest. And at least 30 others.
Here's who he said yes to: Harvard.
He wanted to attend Harvard so badly that he will spend next season at a prep school in Massachusetts to help him qualify academically. Ivy League schools can't offer scholarships, but they do offer no-loan financial aid programs.
"Four years from now, when no one cares who Zena Edosomwan is, I know a lot of opportunities will be there for me to be successful on and off the court," he told SI.com. "And on top of that, why go for the average college experience when I could do something special that people remember me by? If I become successful, people will remember that I took that chance, that I had a higher purpose than basketball. Maybe I'll be a trendsetter."
The 6-foot-9 power forward from Harvard-Westlake in California, which he led to a state title last year, could end up being ranked in Scout.com's top 50 by the start of his prep season. His high school was known for its rigorous college-prep courses and has produced its share of basketball standouts, including twins Jason and Jarron Collins, who played at Stanford.
But Edosomwan, whose mother emigrated from Nigeria in 1987, is certainly taking a different route for an elite high school player. For that Harvard is thankful. The rest of the Ivy League? Well ...
- John Keim