Bison men's basketball program signs one more
After signing four to its 2020 men's basketball recruiting class last week, Oklahoma Baptist University has now notched another big man.
Thomas Sowoolu, a 6-foot, 9-inch, 245-pound forward/center from London, England has inked with head coach Jason Eaker and the Bison.
He joins Jordan Thompson, a 6-foot guard out of Southmoore High School; Justin Tene, a 6-9, 235-pound transfer from Central Georgia Tech College; 6-3 guard Trace Boling, out of The Village School in Katy, Texas and Graham Stiefel, a 6-4 guard from Colleyville Covenant Christian in Colleyville, Texas.
Sowoolu, a left-hander, averaged 8.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and shot 54% from the floor at Barking Abbey Academy in London this past season.
“He is crafty with the ball and has shown huge improvement over the last 12-15 months,” said Eaker. “He attended the Luol Deng Top 50 Camp and is skilled with the ball. He has the gift of finding different ways to score. He has a physical presence and wants to be a post guy. He wanted the opportunity at a Division I or Division II program in the United States.”
Some of Sowoolu's attributes are having a 7-foot wingspan and shooting 80% from the foul line.
Here is Eaker's breakdown of the Bison's other four signees:
Thompson was named the Central Oklahoma Conference Player of the Year for Southmoore's SaberCats this past season.
He averaged 20 points per game and is Southmoore's all-time leading scorer with 1,393 points. His average may have been a little higher had he played in the fourth quarter of 12 games.
“He is a dynamic combo guard and super competitive. He is actually what we need after losing Rashad Lewis and Jacque Brown,” Eaker said. “Jordan is a good passer and can really score the ball. He's competitive and a winner. I would have signed him while I was at (Division I) Liberty or Mercer.”
Eaker added that Thompson led Southmoore to unprecedented heights in 2019-20.
“He's really fun to watch and plays with a lot of spunk,” said Eaker.
At 6-9, Tene is not noted for his scoring, but excels in so many other areas. He was ranked nationally by Synergy Data on post-up efficiency, according to Eaker.
“Justin does a great job of boxing out, sealing off and hitting free throws. He is physical in the post and solid. Justin is an amazing young man with a pure heart,” Eaker said. “He is everything we want him to be about at OBU.”
Tene is originally from Dakar, Senegal, but played high school basketball at Asheville Christian in North Carolina. He was a vital factor in Central Georgia Tech College earning a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas this past season. However, the tournament was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He's a winner, but he's still got room to be better. He wants to be at OBU because of the Christian environment,” said Eaker.
Eaker says Boling had an amazing senior season at The Village School in Katy, Texas, just outside of Houston.
One of his game-winning 3-point shots appeared on ESPN's Top Plays of the Day.
“He can play anywhere from point guard to a wing. He can guard multiple positions and play multiple positions,” Eaker said. “He's a great decision-maker and a gem of a talent to sign. He is humble, but plays with no fear and is real dynamic.”
Boling was an All-Vype Boys Private School honoree for the Houston area as well.
“His dad is a principal and his mom is entrenched in his life...a great family,” said Eaker.
Stiefel and his family are no strangers to OBU.
Stiefel's parents are both OBU graduates and Graham appeared at several Bison Summer Camps and even earned a most valuable player award.
“He is a big point guard...a perfect fit for our school and program. He's got a lot of talent,” Eaker said.
Stiefel earned an all-state award at Colleyville Covenant Christian.