Campus Corner

The Star's blog on college sports, featuring Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri

7-footer Joel Embiid commits to KU hoops team (video)

11/13/2012 3:11 PM

05/16/2014 8:17 PM

Kansas coach Bill Self has been working to fill out his latest recruiting class with a high-ceiling big man. He found one in Joel Embiid, a 7-foot center from Cameroon who calls Hakeem Olajuwon his favorite player and math his favorite subject.

Embiid, a senior at The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., made his KU commitment official on Tuesday morning, picking the Jayhawks over Florida and Texas and delivering the news with a simple post on Twitter: “Proud to be a Jayhawk,” Embiid wrote.

Of course, the specifics of Embiid’s journey, from the soccer fields and handball courts of Cameroon to the cusp of major college basketball, are a little more fascinating than his five-word public announcement.

Last year at this time, Embiid had just arrived in the United States as a junior center at Montverde Academy in Florida, and his basketball background consisted of one camp in February 2011 and later an extended tour at an academy in Cameroon.

“He had seen it,” said Justin Harden, Embiid’s coach at The Rock, “but he really hadn’t played it.”