Apparently, Emmanuel Negedu never learned the fundamental skill of pacing yourself in a game. That is perfectly fine for the 6-foot-7, 225-pound live wire from Brewster Academy.
The class of 2008 prospect from Nigeria has a motor that doesn't quit and an internal battery that seems to recharge in an instant. Negedu helped lead his Indiana Elite 16 and under team to the championship of the Real Deal on the Hill and earned MVP honors in his age division.
Brewster head coach Jason Smith said he knew Negedu must have been playing well at the event because his phone started to blow up on Sunday afternoon.
"I starting getting calls around 3:30 and Emmanuel called me around 5:30 after his game. I figured he must have been doing something right when Emmanuel called later that day," Smith said. "There were probably about eight or nine different coaches that called."
Smith said he fielded calls from Arizona, Ohio State, Iowa, Indiana, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Georgia and others on Sunday and shortly after.
Negedu has added 30 pounds to his frame in the last 14 months and it shows with his bullish behavior around the bucket. Negedu is a very strong rebounder, particularly on the offensive end of the floor and just outworks opponents on the blocks. Smith has said in the past that Negedu could be the best player to ever play at Brewster.
Smith said Negedu has put the pieces together playing against the other Division I players that have come through Brewster. Practicing with the likes of Chad Millard (Louisville), Jeff Adrien (UConn) and Harvey Perry (Washington) in 2005 and this year with Will Harris (Virginia) and Brian Grimes (LaSalle) has made Negedu play like a high-major prospect.
"Emmanuel picked it up real quick. He realized that it is a different game here than it is back in Nigeria," Smith said. "Obviously, he's a physical specimen and he's going to play incredibly hard. When Jeff was here, Emmanuel worked out with him a lot. They are kind of similar. Emmanuel is probably a little bigger. Jeff is a lot longer though. His wingspan is ridiculous. Emmanuel has a lot of the same traits of Jeff. Last time I checked, Jeff is doing okay, too."