Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeSportsBasketballPerry High School Standout Guard Ben Egbo Commits to UC Irvine

Perry High School Standout Guard Ben Egbo Commits to UC Irvine

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Perry High School senior guard Ben Egbo committed to UC Irvine as a preferred walk-on. The player from Gilbert, Arizona turned down full-ride scholarship offers from Air Force University and Bethune Cookman University due to the trust and commitment he has to the coaching staff at UC Irvine.

“I felt like it was a real winning culture [at UCI],” Egbo said in an interview with the New University. “The people, from the coaches to everyone else on the staff to everyone I met at the school, I just got a real family, kind of community feel and that was really important to me and my family for my development, as well as the education as you know is top tier, and with basketball everything just seemed to fit.”

Egbo, the 6A defensive player of the year in the state of Arizona, was a standout guard for head coach Sam Duane Jr. as he helped lead the team to a 30-1 record en route to an open division state championship, the highest division of sports in Arizona. 

Coach Duane Jr. spoke positively of Egbo’s potential. 

“I think he’s just now touching the surface of his game,” Duane Jr. said. “He can defend at a high level, and he can run the floor and bring great athleticism. He’ll be a great teammate, he’ll develop, and I think the coaches are going to love him.”

Egbo excelled not only on the court, but in academics. He was nominated to the Sports360AZ All-Academic Boys Basketball team with a 4.19 weighted GPA. Egbo plans to study either biology or physiology and pursue a career in sports medicine. 

“He will bring a work ethic every day,” Duane Jr. said. “In four years, he’s never taken a practice off. If I’m being honest, he’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached.”

This praise is not taken lightly from Coach Duane Jr., a six-time state of Arizona basketball championship coach himself, who coached current NBA players, such as Marvin Bagley III and Saben Lee, at Corona Del Sol High School before taking over the reigns of the Perry Basketball program in 2016.

Egbo joins a young 2024 recruiting class, including Corner Canyon High School power forward Carter Welling from Utah, who will join his brother , current Anteater #13 Hayden Welling, on the UCI team. The two will look to make an immediate impact on head coach Russell Turner’s team after the transfers DJ Davis to Butler University and Dawson Baker to Brigham Young University. They were the first and second team all Big West Conference guards last season.

The Anteaters will look to rebound after a surprising exit in the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament Championships against Cal State Fullerton, falling just short of a berth in March Madness, after clinching a share of the regular season Big West Conference Championship with UC Santa Barbara. The team finished the season with a record of 23-12 and 15-5 in conference play, losing to Oregon in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).


James Huston is a 2022-2023 Sports Co-Editor. He can be reached at hustonj@uci.edu.