Chris Mack landed the sixth, and most highly-touted, member of his 2019 recruiting class when Aidan Igiehon committed to Louisville Friday afternoon during a ceremony at his high school in New York.
Igiehon, a four-star power forward who is ranked as the No. 36 overall player in the 2019 class by ESPN, picked U of L over Kentucky, Oregon and St. John’s.
“It’s one thing to be wanted and another thing to be needed and I kind of felt like I was needed when I went on my visit,” Igiehon told Evan Daniels of 247 Sports. “Coach Mack showed me the roster and the blueprint he had setup. When I went on my official the city embraced me and they kind of like exploded the second I was there.”
“My other officials were nice but the Louisville visit was crazy. Fans everywhere going crazy and with the basketball team it’s just the beginning. The ability of them to develop players, their staff is well-equipped to develop a player such as myself.”
Nicknamed “The Irish Hulk,” Igiehon is an imposing physical specimen at 6’10, 215-pounds. His rebounding ability and propensity for finishing around the rim with authority has already drawn multiple comparisons to former Cardinal star Montrezl Harrell. Outside of 15 feet, Igiehon’s offensive game is still in need of polish, but that’s to be expected of someone who didn’t begin playing basketball until the age of 13, and grew six inches a year later.
Igiehon, who is originally from Clondalkin, west Dublin, moved to the United States from Ireland in 2014 at the age of 13. He lives with an aunt and uncle in New York, and is in his final year of attending Lawrence Woodmere Academy. As a junior last season, he averaged 16.7 points and 15 rebounds per game for a team that won 22 games.
How big of a deal is Igiehon in Ireland? This video, which talks about him potentially being the first person born and raised in the Emerald Isle to play in the NBA, paints a pretty vivid picture:
If you want to get a taste of Igiehon’s infectious personality and savviness behind a mic, check out this video of him at last year’s NBA Draft
Last month, Mack flew to Dublin to pay Igiehon’s mother a personal visit and have a one-on-one conversation. It was a move that appears to have resonated with Igiehon, who gives his mother the credit for the 3.7 GPA he currently owns at Woodmere.
“I’m a pretty good student, it’s the fear of god that my mom put in me.” Igiehon told BallinEurope.com. “I know I’ve got to keep up with my school work. It’s hard because you don’t really have time for anything else but school and basketball. The life of a student athlete is vigorous. You might not have time to go have fun with your friends because you’ve got to do school work and work out twice a day. It comes down to how bad you want it, I feel anybody can do it but not everybody wants it that bad. Everybody wants to be a kid and I can’t fault anyone for that. People are always saying ‘why can’t you be a regular kid?’, it’s because I’m not regular. Different things are expected.”
Louisville’s 2019 recruiting class now consists of four-star prospects Igiehon, Samuell Williamson, David Johnson, Jaelyn Withers and Josh Nickelberry, as well as three-star recruit Quinn Slazinski. All six players will be able to sign with U of L when the early signing period begins on Nov. 14.
As it stands, U of L has five commitments from players ranked in the ESPN top 100. No other school has more than three. Chris Mack is that dude.