Lawrence Woodmere Academy senior and basketball player, Aidan Igiehon, an ESPN four-star prospect, announced his commitment to play at Louisville during a news conference at LWA's Hessel Hall in Woodmere on Oct. 19.
Igiehon was born and raised in Ireland, however, when he was a six-foot-five-inch 13-year-old he caught scouts’ eyes at a basketball camp hosted by the Philadelphia 76ers. He recalled his journey across the Atlantic Ocean, thanking his mother, who was present via video call from Ireland, and his aunt and uncle who he lives with to be able to pursue playing hoops in the U.S.
“I came to the United States as a skinny black kid from Ireland,” Igiehon said. “I was just looking for a place I could call home … Coach [Jeff] Weiss [LWA’s basketball coach] didn’t promise me the world. He didn’t tell me if you come here you’re going to be an NBA player, [or] this is a basketball factory. He said I can promise you two things, an opportunity and a family. That was good enough for me.”
Weiss introduced Igiehon after taking a moment to praise the young man he’s now known for five years. “He’s been nothing but a model student since the moment he walked into the building,” he said. “People often see the finished product, they see a six-foot-ten 230 pound Irish hulk, as some of the media outlets have referred to him as. They don’t see the 14-year-old kid who came here and had to commute an hour and a half to school everyday. What they don’t see is that during his junior and senior year of high school is that his alarm goes off at 4:45 in the morning to get here by 6:30 to get a workout in before the school day starts.”
Igiehon’s hard work earned him a spot on ESPN’s top 100 college recruits, and offers from colleges across the country. Before the event, he had narrowed his choices down to Louisville, the University of Kentucky, the University of Oregon and St. John’s University. Igiehon didn’t keep everyone in suspense long after his speech, donning the red cap with the Louisville mascot, a cardinal, and opening his jacket to revel their logo.
He is part of the first recruitment class by new head coach, Chris Mack, who took the job in March after Rick Pitino was fired when federal prosecutors in New York announced that Louisville was under investigation for an alleged scheme to pay their players. Igiehon joins several other top prospects in the school’s program and will likely play center.