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NCAAB: St John’s C Chris Obekpa, An Old-School Player In Today’s Hoops


St. Johns starting center Chris Obekpa is a throwback player. He wears his gym shorts above the knee, taking us back to the days of Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlin, and Bill Russell.

However, when you watch Obekpa on the court you see more than just an old school look, you see an old-school game. Obekpa is a lost art in the game of basketball, a dominant rim protector. This season Obekpa has firmly established himself as the St. Johns Red Storm starting center.

His 7.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game might seem miniscule to some, but it’s what he does defensively that sets him apart. Obekpa averages 3.9 blocks a game on the season, which included  an eight block performance against LIU-Brooklyn on November 19th.

Despite his defensive dominance, Obekpa almost transferred from St. Johns this past season. Instead, he opted to stay put, and as a result might be in the conversation as a first-round NBA Draft pick.

While he is certainly still very raw offensively, his defensive skills set will assuredly garner him interest among team’s looking for a rim protector, which is a trait many covet at the next level.

Obekpa isn’t focused on the draft yet, as the Junior still has one year of eligibility remaining. It would be wise for him to remain in college to improve his offensive game, but make no mistake about it he has the defensive chops of an old school basketball star.


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