Rider lands Conwell-Egan guard Jamal Nwaniemeka
By: Kyle Franko - The Trentonian
The first thing Conwell-Egan Catholic coach Rick Sabol noticed about Jamal Nwaniemeka was how athletic he was. Sabol felt like if Nwaniemeka's work ethic matched his athleticism, he would have a good chance at landing a Division I scholarship.
Turns out it did.
Nwaniemeka, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 24.4 points per game last season, leading the Philadelphia Catholic League in scoring. Next season, he'll play for Tommy Dempsey at Rider University after signing his National Letter of Intent this week.
"He's ideal for a wing guard," Sabol said. "He can shoot it from the outside and he can rebound for his size. He led our team in rebounding the last two seasons with over 10 per game."
Rider didn't come in until late in the recruiting period to grab Nwaniemeka, Sabol said. The Broncs first made their approach in January, but once they did, Nwaniemeka was sold.
He said the proximity to home - he's from West Philadelphia and his mother would drive him 45 minutes to school every morning to Conwell-Egan in Fairless Hills, Pa. - and the team's up-tempo style appealed to him.
"It was a small school and the team was really close together," said Nwaniemeka, who saw the Broncs play twice last year against St. Peter's and Loyola. "The coaching staff was awesome and all the people at the school were great."
Nwaniemeka also said he appreciated Dempsey's honesty in the recruiting process. Rider beat out Robert Morris, Hartford, Florida Atlantic and several Division II offers for his service.
"(Dempsey) was a great guy," Nwaniemeka said. "He put everything on the table and didn't lie about anything. He told me I would have a chance to compete for my playing time."
"One thing that is important with Jamal is that he has a good relationship with his coaching staff," Sabol said. "The location of the school was also very important because he's very close with his family and they can drive up for all of his home games."
Sabol also said Rider is getting a high-character individual.