Don’t think Jeremy Lin’s rise to stardom in the Big Apple has any lingering effects on potential commits to Ivy league schools? You’d
think as one of the country’s top forwards and top-100 2012 college basketball recruits, any highly touted recruit would be looking only at marquee programs to play at, right?
Zena Edosomwan is a 6’9, 230 lb 4-star recruit that will become a college basketball phenom and he has 39 scholarship offers on the table to reflect that future potential. Those scholarships include the likes of Texas, UCLA, Wake Forest, USC, Cal, and Washington to name a few. The son of a Nigerian immigrant, born in Houston, raised in Los Angeles, this kid had different plans. He envisioned his basketball career being born in Cambridge, MA- at Harvard.
Not only did he go against the grain in choosing to be a Crimson Tide, but he was told by an anonymous coach at one of the aforementioned programs that tried to recruit him:
“You’re going to regret that decision … No one makes it [to the NBA] from the Ivy League. … Have you seen Harvard’s schedule? … I’ve never had to compete against an Ivy for a player. We usually only have to compete against Kentucky or Duke.”
There was still one thing getting in the way of Edosomwan achieving his dream of playing at Harvard- his SAT score, but he didn’t give up and enrolled in a Mass prep school for one year to enhance his score and become academically eligible to play at Harvard. So, fast forward a year and he’ll be playing for the Crimson this fall even though he may have already risen to stardom elsewhere had he not attended the prep school. Want to hear something that makes you like this kid even more? This is directly from him via SI:
“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. 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.”
Maybe that is why Edosomwan taped a copy of Jeremy Lin’s SI cover (pictured above)
on his bedroom wall as motivation and proof that Ivy Leaguers can play in the NBA. You have to give credit to Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, who convinced Edosomwan to play in Cambridge. In less than five years, Amaker has actually created a formidable basketball program at Harvard and its getting stronger by the year. Linsanity certainly enhanced Amaker’s image, but its only the beginning for this bright, young coach and program.