UGA adds 3rd signee for basketball

Mark Fox (AJC)

Mark Fox (AJC)

UGA got another basketball recruit before the end of the early signing period.

Derek Ogbeide, a 6-foot-8 center from Pebblebrook High School, picked UGA over Houston and Memphis on Wednesday. Ogbeide is rated as a 3-star and the state’s No. 14 overall prospect.

“He was looking for the best fit for him academically and basketball-wise,” Pebblebrook coach George Washington told the AJC. “He really liked what Coach Fox has done with ‘Bigs’ in the past. Coach Fox has a great track record of developing players.

“Those are some of the things that helped him make his decision to go to UGA. He really likes what Coach Fox does with players, and he had a great time on his visits there. He fell in love with them.”

Ogbeide is UGA’s third signee so far this year, joining 3-star point guard “Turtle” Jackson of Athens Christian high school and 3-star forward E’Torrion Wilridge of Beaumont, Texas. Ogbeide gives UGA some much-needed depth on the frontcourt.

Derek Ogbeide (247sports)

Derek Ogbeide (247sports)

“They are getting a big, strong, athletic kid who just plays with a non-stop motor,” said’s Dan McDonald. “He’s got a non-stop motor. He just plays so hard. He blocks shots. He’s a quality interior presence for sure.

Here’s some background on Ogbeide: He was born in Nigeria, and played basketball in Toronto as a freshman and sophomore in high school. He transferred to Pebblebrook last year as a junior, averaging 8 points and 10 rebounds per game.

“Georgia is going to get a kid with a motor,” Washington said. “He’s a high, high-motor kid. He’s very intense. He’s a good student and a high-character kid. They are going to get an all-around kid who is good for their program.

“He’s going to outrun any ‘Big.’ He’s going to cause problems for other ‘Bigs’ because he runs like a gazelle. He can just flat-out run. That’s going to be a problem for other big guys trying to guard him.”

“He’s a good player, but his best basketball is ahead of him. From when we got him a year to now, to see his progression … going from an unknown commodity to a highly-sought after big guy … he’s just going to get better and better, especially with that coaching staff at UGA.”

College coaches got a glimpse of Ogbeide’s long-range potential in last year’s state playoffs against Luella. Ogbeide has several “emphatic dunks,” including one on Doral Moore, the 7-footer who signed with Wake Forest.

“He came alive,” Washington said. “He played like a monster that game, and has been a monster ever since then.”

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