The Seton Hall men’s basketball team just got a 7-foot 2-inch boost to its already stellar 2014 recruiting class.
Chier Ajou will be joining the team in the spring of 2015 after his mid-season transfer from North- western University to Seton Hall.
Eligibility for transfer players takes two semesters of academic residency, meaning Ajou will be able to start playing games during next winter break.
Ajou is a cousin of NBA star Loul Deng who similarly left the city of Chicago in a trade last week. Ajou is the second player Kevin Willard has gotten from the Northwestern program.
Freshman point guard Jaren Sina had committed to Northwestern before ultimately changing his mind and landing with the Pirates this season.
Ajou saw very little time in his one-and-a-half seasons at North- western and with that was not able to flourish under first-year head coach Chris Collins.
The team had announced that Ajou was transferring in a press conference last Tuesday.
“Chier informed us that he would like to seek another institution to continue his educational and playing opportunities,” Collins said.
“We wish him nothing but the best in the future and are appreciative of his efforts during his time at Northwestern.”
Ajou will bring size to a team that is losing two of their big men next season when Aaron Geramipoor and Eugene Teague graduate.
Ajou brings experience to the center position allowing other big men Patrik Auda and Brandon Mobley to play their natural power forward role.
“We are happy to welcome Chier to the Seton Hall basketball family,” Willard said in a statement.
The 245-pound Ajou will join an exciting recruiting class that features Isaiah Whitehead, Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington and Ismael Sanogo.
Seton Hall’s incoming recruiting class ranks No. 14 nationally and is the second best class in the Big East according to espn.com Recruiting Nation.
Delgado, 6-foot 8-inches, is the tallest member of the class, making a big man like Ajou a necessity for the Pirates. Seton Hall will have six scholarships available next season once Teague, Geramipoor, Fuquan Edwin and Brian Oliver graduate.
The departure of Tom Maayan and Hakeem Harris free up the other two scholarship opportunities.
Ajou and Desi Rodriguez will claim the fifth and sixth scholarships available for the program.
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at email@example.com.