By: Jeff Uveino
Osun Osunniyi was offered a scholarship to play basketball for NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing at Georgetown University. He was also offered a scholarship by Jim Boeheim to play at Syracuse University.
But instead, the 6-10 forward from Pleasantville, New Jersey, chose to attend St. Bonaventure University and play for head coach Mark Schmidt.
“I felt the most at home here,” Osunniyi said. “It felt like a home away from home.”
Osunniyi attended Mainland high school in Linwood, New Jersey. After high school, he attended Putnam Science Academy prep school in Connecticut, where he led his team to a national prep championship in 2018 and averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds per game.
“Coming out of southern New Jersey, I didn’t play against a lot of Division I-caliber athletes in high school,” Osunniyi said. “Going to prep school got me used to the pace of college play and the length of the season.”
Putnam played 42 games during the 2018 season in which Osunniyi was there. He talked about how prep school physically prepared him to play at the next level.
“I got to play against big guys who were stronger than me, which gave me a taste of what it would be like when I came here as a freshman,” he said.
Osunniyi had originally committed to La Salle University, but as he explained, La Salle parted ways with its head coach during his year at prep school. He decided to re-open his recruitment.
“I talked to my parents and decided I wanted to look for other options,” Osunniyi said. “Bonaventure was one of the schools that called.”
Kyle Lofton, a teammate of Osunniyi at Putnam, had already committed to St. Bonaventure when this happened and saw an opportunity to bring his teammate to college with him.
“My friend (Kyle) who had already committed started recruiting me right away,” Osunniyi said. “So, I came for a visit and I loved it.”
Osunniyi saw 15 minutes of playing time in St. Bonaventure’s season opener vs Bucknell. He had 8 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks before fouling out in the second half.
Osunniyi hopes to bring hard work to the team and be a presence around the rim.
“I want to help this team win games as much as I can,” he said. “I like the guys, and we’re all trying to make each other better every day. I’m confident that if we work together, we can do a lot of things.”
St. Bonaventure continues its 2018-19 season on Nov. 10 with a home game vs Jackson St.
Picture courtesy:Courtesy:Craig Melvin/SBU Sports Information