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High-flier from Australia commits to Kyle Smith, Washington State

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 22, 2019

Washington State head coach Kyle Smith speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (D. Ross Cameron / AP)
Washington State head coach Kyle Smith speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day, in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (D. Ross Cameron / AP)

PULLMAN – Washington State’s newest basketball commit is already a viral sensation.

Efemena Abogidi, a high-flying, rim-rocking big man from Australia who took the internet by storm two years ago, committed to Kyle Smith and the Cougars Tuesday afternoon, becoming the coach’s first pledge in the class of 2020.

Jonathon Givony of Draft Express first reported Abogidi’s commitment and the player made an announcement later on from his Twitter account, posting one photo of himself palming two basketballs in a crimson WSU jersey and another one of him on the hardwood at Beasley Coliseum.

Abogidi, who goes by just “Efe,” is listed as a 6-foot-10 forward/center and has been playing at the NBA’s Global Academy in Canberra, Australia. The Nigerian-born Abogidi is also reported to have a 7-foot-4 wingspan, which helped him uncork an eye-opening slam dunk from beyond the free throw line during the SEED Project’s Hoops Forum in August of 2017.

A video of the 18-year-old Abogidi lifting off from just behind the charity stripe and flying to the rim was posted on the NBA’s official Instagram account and viewed more than 1.9 million times.

While it’s unclear if Abogidi had any other college offers, Givony reported that he fell off the radar some because of a series of unspecified injuries, though he describes the player as “freakishly athletic.”

When he was hired at WSU, Smith vowed to recruit overseas and especially in Australia. The Cougars went down under for players like Brock Motum, Aron Baynes and Dexter Kernich-Drew, and Smith has one Australian, poit guard Ryan Rapp, on his first WSU roster.

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