Huskers Sign Winthrop Big Man
6-foot-8 Center is among Nation’s Top Returning Shot Blockers
Lincoln – University of Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles announced Tuesday that Duby Okeke (prounounced Doobie Okay-Kay) has signed with Nebraska to join the Husker basketball program for the 2017-18 season.
Okeke, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound center from Jonesboro, Ga., began his collegiate career at Winthrop and will have one season of eligibility remaining at Nebraska after he graduates from Winthrop next month.
He has played in 94 career games for the Eagles over the past three seasons, totaling 355 rebounds and 165 blocked shots. His established school records for blocks in a season (72; 2015-16) and career (165), as his career blocked shot total ranks sixth among returning Division I players in 2017-18. Okeke, who redshirted at Winthrop in 2013-14 because of a foot injury, finished his career at the school with three of the top-nine single-season block totals in school history.
“We are excited to have Duby join Nebraska Basketball,” Miles said. “He has been well coached at Winthrop under Pat Kelsey, so he understands being part of a winning program and NCAA Tournament team. I love Duby’s attitude and his desire to take his game to a higher level. His ability to block shots and rebound are skills that are transferrable to almost any level of play. Duby is the right guy at the right time for the Huskers and understands where we want go and is excited to help us get there.”
Okeke played in all 33 games in 2016-17, including 24 starts, to help Winthrop to a 26-7 mark and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons. He shot 61 percent from the field while adding 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, as he was fourth in the Big South in blocked shots. Okeke totaled a season-high nine points and five rebounds against Florida State and grabbed a season-best nine boards against Manhattan. He also had 14 games with at least two blocked shots, including a season-high four on two occasions help Winthrop lead the Big South in field goal percentage defense (.408).
As a sophomore, Okeke led the Big South in blocked shots per game 2.5 per game, a total which ranked 20th nationally. That season, he also set personal bests in both scoring (4.9 ppg) and rebounding (4.8 rpg), as Winthrop was second in the conference in field goal percentage defense. He reached double figures five times, while shooting 64 percent from the field. Okeke also had 21 games with at least two blocks despite not starting a single game in 2015-16.