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Ogundele looks forward to Iowa arrival

Future Hawkeye Josh Ogundele is hoping to arrive in Iowa City in June.
Future Hawkeye Josh Ogundele is hoping to arrive in Iowa City in June.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particular impact on the life of future Hawkeye Josh Ogundele. The 2020 recruit is from England has been living in the United States for the past few years, so being away from his immediate family has been challenging.

“It’s hard not being around my family, but I am kind of used to it now,’ he said. “I talk to my family every day and check in on them and make sure they are doing ok.”

Thankfully his immediate family are healthy, but he did share that an uncle who lives in New York has the virus, but he’s fighting it and doing ok.

While many high school prospects saw their season come to an early end, the 6-foot-11 center was able to complete his senior season at Worcester Academy. His squad finished the year with a 20-12 record this year and he felt he had a strong senior year.

“I felt like I had to get in better shape this year and I did that and was able to play more minutes this year and continue to develop as a player.”

Ogundele said that Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery came out to see him during the season and also the Hawkeyes sent assistant coaches to see him play.

One thing has also did this year was pay attention to his future teammates at the University of Iowa. He said he watched about seven or eight full games during the year and he was obviously watching the play of Hawkeye big man Luka Garza, who was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus All American.

“Honestly, I really didn’t even know much about Luka before the season, but when I watched him play, I realized how I need to get stronger in my lower body. He could really finish around the rim and he can stretch the floor,” he said.

There could be a chance that Ogundele might play his freshman year with the All American big man. Right now, Garza has not given any indication as to if he will declare for the NBA Draft and not return for his senior year. The 2020 recruit says he would welcome the opportunity to learn from Garza next season.

“I would love it if he came back,” he said. “I think it would really help me to learn from him, but if he’s not, then I just have to learn from what he did last year, so it would just be a different way of learning.”

Ogundele is currently staying with one of his prep school teammates riding out the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to get in some basketball work at a local park, doing some running to keep his conditioning up, and finishing up his prep school work via on-line learning.

He spoke with Fran McCaffery last week and an assistant coach this past week and the plan is for Ogundele to arrive on the Iowa campus sometime in June.

“They told me they hope to have me on campus in early June, but with the way things are, they aren’t sure about a date yet.”