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Junior college center, 6-9, commits to Bulls

Stan Heath has found a backup center to help Kentrell Gransberry next season.

With the end of the spring signing period nearing, Heath got an oral commitment Monday from Mobolaji "B.J." Ajayi, a 6-foot-9, 225-pound center from Nigeria who played last season at Palm Beach Community College.

"He had games where he was just unbelievable," said PBCC coach Tony Sheals, a former FSU assistant. "They had a definite need for a big kid, and he's a guy who can defend around the basket and rebound in traffic. His best basketball is still ahead of him."

Ajayi, 20, averaged 8.8 points and 7.4 rebounds at PBCC with eight double-doubles, including two against Hillsborough Community College. Sheals said Ajayi was the school's male student-athlete of the year. "He's a great, great kid," Sheals said. "Unbelievable upside."

Ajayi, who made the all-state junior college team, was also being recruited by Rutgers, Seton Hall and Ball State. He'll have two years of eligibility at USF, though first he has to take more courses this summer to get his associate of arts degree -- Sheals said that isn't because of any grade problems (he has a 3.0, he said) but because not all of his credits transferred over from Crichton College, an NAIA school in Memphis, where he played in 2005-06.

He played under the name "Ajayi Ebenezer" at Crichton (Ebenezer is his middle name), averaged 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and was named to the all-freshman team in the Trans South Athletic Conference.

Ajayi will join 6-foot-7 forward Orane Chin of Miramar as Heath's spring signees, and the Bulls have two more scholarships available, though it's doubtful Heath will use both at this stage, carrying at least one over to next season. The spring signing period officially ends Wednesday and it's unlikely Ajayi will be signed by then, so instead of a binding national letter of intent, he'll sign a grant-in-aid, which carries the same scholarship but is non-binding until he starts classes.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:26am]

    

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